Was it the police OR could it be his girlfriend’s family?
The last time 52-year-old Kedibonye Tsolo saw her son, he was being driven away in the back of an open police van.
Two days later, he was dead.
37-year-old Mosimanegape Tsolo’s last moments remain a mystery, his violent death marking the sudden end of a colourful life.
On Thursday 20 September, less than 48 hours after jumping out of a moving police truck, the Molepolole resident was found hanging from a tree near the hills that overlook his home in Bokaa Ward.
With his hands handcuffed behind his back, it was impossible for him to have committed suicide.
Mosimanegape was murdered in cold-blooded execution style and his grieving family want answers.
The bizarre circumstances leading to his untimely demise give this tragic tale a slightly unusual subplot.
Mosimanegape was involved in a turbulent relationship with his cousin – the daughter of his mother’s elder sister – 24-year-old Mmaofena Fena Ntwaagae.
The intense on/off love affair, which dated back to 2013, was a source of much concern to the family, particularly Fena’s brother, Tshepang Ntwaagae.
Tshepang accused Mosimanegape of abducting and raping his sister, an allegation he reported to the cops, which ultimately led to the trio being ferried away by the police.
Recounting the painful loss of her fourth-born son, a tearful Kedibonye told The Voice she was fast asleep when two policemen came calling at around 9pm (on Tuesday 18th September), demanding to see Mosimanegape.
“The police knocked and when Mosimanegape and his girlfriend refused to open the door, they used a card, like an Omang, to force open the window.
“They lit inside the house, where they found the two standing in a corner. They asked Mosimanegape why he dragged Fena to his house when she did not want to come and he simply told them she was his girlfriend,” explained Kedibonye, pausing for breath before adding, “The officers asked Fena if she had sex with Mosimanegape and she confirmed that indeed she had.
“The police said it means he raped her and so they handcuffed my son and took him away, together with Fena and her brother.”
To Kedibonye’s surprise, different officers returned later in the evening looking for Mosimanegape, who they said had escaped.
“I went to a wedding the following day thinking they would find him only to be shocked on Thursday evening when I was informed about the death of my boy,” continued Kedibonye, her timid voice faltering for the first time.
Shedding some light on her son’s incestuous relationship, Kedibonye said she realised the two relatives were falling in love after her sister came to her complaining about the affair.
Despite reporting the matter to ward elders to assist with a resolution, Kedibonye ruefully revealed the love affair continued to burn bright.
Taking over the narrative from his wife, 86-year-old Nkau Tsolo admitted the ‘forbidden’ relationship started five years ago.
“I’m amazed Fena refused to come home with her boyfriend as they were lovers. The girl and her brother are the one’s to explain – the brother reported the matter to the police claiming Mosimanegape raped his sister and our son ended up dead,” fumed Nkau, his heavily cataracted eyes gleaming with anger.
When Nkau went to identify his son’s dead body on Friday morning, he was met with a grisly sight.
“I went with the police to see my son at Scottish Livingstone Hospital Mortuary where I found him tied with a thin rope deep on the neck, his arms tied with handcuffs at the back.
‘There was also a terrible smell as apparently he was found some time after he died,” concluded the old man, speaking with great difficulty.
When contacted for a comment, Fena revealed the trouble started on Monday night when she was walking to Boikanyo shops with her brother.
“As we went back home we met Mosimanegape on the way and he told me to go with him to his house and started pulling me. My brother begged him to stop but he told him not to intervene or else he would stab him with a knife,” Fena said, adding she instructed Tshepang to leave her to sort out the issue.
According to Fena, the following day her brother turned up at Mosimanegape’s house ‘accompanied by two boys’.
Her boyfriend then threatened to beat up her brother, who immediately ran off to alert the police.
“Mosimanegape burst into tears and told me that he would kill me and them kill himself – just then the police came and arrested him!
“On our way to the station he jumped out the vehicle and I shouted to alert the officers in the front seat. The car stopped and one got out; we tried to look for him but could not find him.”
Her emotions starting to overwhelm her, Fena bitterly added, “I loved him, only our parents complained that we are close relatives,” before requesting to end the interview as she dissolved into tears.
Meanwhile, Botswana Police Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube said investigations into the incident were on-going.
He confirmed Mosimanegape had been arrested on suspicion of rape and was later found dead after escaping from the police.
The slain man was laid to rest this Saturday. His family, however, will not rest until their beloved son’s murderer is found.