A middle aged man in Ngwapa, a village nestled at the foot of the picturesque Tswapong hills was left nursing minor effects of hypothermia after his boss had allegedly locked him up inside a cold room.
Alfred Molefhe (40) worked as a meat cutter at Lapolosa Farm, an establishment owned by Kobus Smith, a naturalized Motswana of Afrikaner descent.
Relating his ordeal to The Voice, Molefhe said he was left frustrated after there was no progress in a matter he long reported in September last year.
“He’s a powerful man feared by both the police and village leadership. I’m not surprised that this matter was reported four months ago, yet no action has been taken against Smith, while I lost my job and still nursing effects of being in a cold room for two hours,” he said.
Molefhe said on the fateful day he was ordered to re-stack boxes of game meat inside the cold room, which had fallen over nigh.
“When his African clients come to hunt at his farm I cut their kill, cut and package them in boxes and stack them nicely in the cold room. Smith was not happy that the boxes had fallen and ordered to re-stack,” he said.
“As soon as I went inside the cold room he locked the door behind me and left,” recalled Molefhe as he relieved the cold memories all over again.
“I screamed in fear and no one came to my rescue.”
He said the only other witness was his co-worker who unfortunately has refused to testify on his behalf.
“I understand his predicament. He chose job security over doing what is right,” he said.
Molefhe told The Voice that on his return about two hours later, Smith came back and opened for him.
“Ice had already formed on my hair and my joints were almost frozen. I was shivering controllably and on seeing me he laughed and asked me to run around to shake off the ice,” Molefhe told The Voice.
The distraught man said he then hitch hiked and went to the clinic in Mokobeng and later reported the matter at the Martins Drift Police Station.
“They later referred the matter to Mokobeng Police, but there has been no progress in the matter.
“On arrival at there clinic, my temperature was about 33 and later picked up to 35,” he said.
“The police will never help. Smith is like a God here. He has been mistreating people for years and no action is ever taken against him,” chipped in Annah Molefhe; the victim’s sister.
“I nearly lost my brother. He has never been the same, I think the cold hit right through his marrow and now is as good as disabled,” added the animated sister.
Mokobeng Station Officer Sergeant Leano confirmed receiving the matter.
“We are investigating the issue and we are in the process of charging the accused,” he said
Martins Drift Police Station Commander Superintendent Basupi told The Voice that this was an old matter that was dealt with.
“There was no clear evidence. I’m shocked he claims to have been in the cold room for two hours, on his statement he said he was in there for six seconds,” said Basupi.
Efforts were made to contact Smith, but he has ignored text and WhatsApp questions sent to him even though he was online.
The Voice went to his farm and his wife said the family will only talk through their legal representative.
They were however not willing to share their lawyer’s contacts.