Field of death

Christinah Motlhabane
LAID TO REST: Florence was found dead in her field

Murdered granny’s remains found in her field… but is there a serial killer at large?

On 12th January, Garebaitse Gaofitlhelwe was found tied-up in a pit latrine in Nshakazhogwe village.

It was believed the 71-year-old was strangled, killed for his tandabala money, his corpse then hidden away atop the traditional toilet, where it remained for two days.

Although suspicion fell on a drifter in the area, no arrests were made.

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17 days later, and 40km away in Tutume, the police have another dead body on their hands.

On Sunday morning, three days after she was last seen alive, 72-year-old Florence Lebengwa’s decomposing remains were uncovered in her field at Tenene lands, some 6km from her home in Thini ward.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the cops had yet to make an arrest.

In an exclusive interview with The Voice, the slain woman’s uncle, Isaac Lebengwa, 69, revealed Florence lived with her son, who had been away in Francistown looking for piece jobs through the week.

Field of death
DISTRESSED: Isaac Lebengwa

“He returned from town on Saturday and, upon arrival, called his mother’s phone, which rang unanswered. He found the phone in her bedroom but there was no sign of her,” narrates an upset Isaac.

Growing worried when he realised his mum was not around, the son went to check on her possible whereabouts with neighbours.

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“This was when they called me. I got there quickly and we asked around. Some neighbours revealed they had not seen her for two days, while one told us they last saw her when she was coming from the field on Wednesday.”

Becoming increasingly concerned, although it was already late at night, Isaac led a small group to the field. Although the gate was bolted shut with a padlock, they forced entry.

“We checked where she had been ploughing but found nothing,” continued the emotional elder.

After alerting the police, the group headed back to the field at first light on Sunday morning to resume their hunt.

Sadly, the family’s fears were confirmed; the old woman’s body was spotted at the other end of the field.

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Narrating the life-changing moment she was informed her mother was missing, Albertina Ntwaagae, 52, revealed she was in Moiyabana when the news reached her.

Field of death
BROKEN: Ntwaaage with her husband and son

“When my brother called me on Saturday night, he told me our mother was missing and it seemed she had not been home for a while as the yard had not been swept for days. There was no sign of fire where she always made it. He said even the chickens were not closed in their coop as usual. I did not sleep that night. The way our mother died is very sad,” closed a tearful Ntwaagae, whose brother was not around for an interview, having left for the cattlepost to fetch a goat.

Due to the state of her body, Florence was buried the same day, laid to rest at around 4pm in the afternoon.

Unwilling to entertain talk of a possible serial killer on the loose in the area, No 15 District Officer Commanding, Kabo Badirwang, simply confirmed they were investigating the death.

“The deceased was found with visible injuries to the neck and ribs, which rules out natural death. We are still investigating. For now, I can’t deny nor confirm if the two murders are linked,” was the top cop’s comment.

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