Hitman on the loose

Portia Mlilo

Beware, he is dangerous- police

Convicted arsonist and suspected hitman in the infamous 2015 Oodi murder, Zwichanaka Dabie has escaped from South African Police custody and is currently on the loose.

Dabie who is facing one count of murder was arrested in South Africa in December 2022 after he ran away from Botswana as soon as his name was mentioned in the OOdi murder which was committed while he was on bail for car theft.

He escaped from Kimberly police cells on Saturday morning where he was remanded for a series of robberies in that country.

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For the Oodi murder, three men being Ernest Legwale of Phapane ward in Mochudi, Dabie from Moroka village together with a Zimbabwean man Hamadi Mkhuha stand facing a single count of murdering Thato Meswele, who was a sister to Ernerst’s ex-wife, Dimpho in 2015 in Oodi.

Legwale allegedly hired two hitmen, MKhuha and Dabie to kill his wife, Dimpho Meswele but instead the two mistakenly killed the wife’s younger sister. When the incident, occurred Dimpho and Ernest were in the process of divorce.

The case had taken the police two years to crack until they got a tip-off and made the arrest on February, 20th, 2018.

According to the Investigating Officer Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo, Dimpho’s younger sister went outside the house as they were preparing to go to work, but she was hit by an assailant with a hard object on her head and sustained a deep wound. Thato was taken to Princess Marina Hospital where she died four days later.

In his statement after arrest, Legwale denied sending anyone to kill his wife. He argued that instead he had sent the two men to plant a head of a baboon in the yard so that he could reconcile with his wife who had initiated divorce proceedings against him at the time.

During trial one of the state witnesses, Nhlanhla Wellington who is a traditional doctor, testified in the court that Legwale had also gone to consult him and asked him to prescribe traditional Muti to kill his then estranged wife. Dimpho and her mother.

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Botswana Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube has warned the public to be on the lookout for Dabie as he is suspected to have crossed into Botswana. He described Dabie as a dangerous criminal who has cases pending before court.

According to Motube, apart from being a suspect in the Oodi murder, Dabie is also wanted for absconding court after he was granted bail in the motor vehicle theft case. He is also an ex-convict who served 10 years in jail for arsonist.

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