Black Christmas for Mochudi man as police officers severely assault him
Christmas Day is supposed to be a day of joy and celebration but unfortunately the last one was sorrowful and bloody for Onkemetse Setoutwe ,31 of Makakatlela ward, Mochudi.
He alleges that six government security agents, accusing him of poaching spoilt his holy day as they beat him black and blue leaving him bloody, with a badly bruised swollen face, a wounded finger that needed to be stitched six times, a sore back and swollen ankle. They then kept him prisoner in their van and only got him to hospital late afternoon.
Speaking to The Voice at his Makakatlela home where he is nursing his wounds, Setoutwe said the two soldiers, three detectives and a game ranger pounced on him early morning as he was walking from the shops in Dikgonnye village and then took him to Thibitshwane lands where they performed their despicable act on him.
“They stopped me and one of the cops Detective Sergeant Ranko informed me that they were looking for me and my cousin Phatshimo as they wanted to quiz us about something. He did not explain to me what they wanted and I agreed to take them where Patsimo was”, he said
“We found Phatshimo at home and it was then that Ranko who seemed to be in charge told me they suspected I was a poacher and knew something about some kudu meat they were looking for. I tried to get him to explain to how I could hunt whilst my leg was in plaster and walking on crutches but he wouldn’t listen. He asked me to drive them back to my house as they wanted to search for kudu meat which they had reason to believe I had. I obliged and led them to my house. I had nothing to fear as I am not a poacher” he said.
According to Setoutwe hell broke loose half way to his house when his truck’s engine stopped running and was forced to park and wait for the government officials who were a few minutes behind him.
“I was sitting in my truck and they all got out of the police van and when I asked them to help me push start Ranko started slapping me. He slapped me several times before his mates helped him drag me out of the truck. I couldn’t offer much resistance as my leg is in a plaster.
“ As I fell to the ground they fell on me like a pack of wolves. They kicked and punched me, one of the soldiers even hit me with his rifle on my left ankle. The wildlife officer used hose pipe and Ranko my jumper cables to flog me. I was completely helpless. Had I not rolled myself into a ball I would be dead. When they were done with me they handcuffed me with my hands on my back to the rails of their truck, he added.
“I was bleeding all over as they drove me to my house where they searched for the kudu meat which they didn’t find”, Setoutwe said
He said after searching him the officers drove him to Mochudi Police Station together with a size three, legged pot containing remains of beef he had cooked the night before.
“They said they suspected it was kudu meat” Setoutwe said.
Incidentally Setoutwe is a cattle dealer and says the police have in the past questioned him for stock theft. He however said he has never been arrested for the offence.
Mochudi Police Station Commander Superintendent Gagogosha told to The Voice that Setoutwe has a stock theft case involving six beasts against him before the Mochudi Magistrate Court.
He also defended his men’s actions saying they were doing their job.
“Setoutwe got injured because he attacked a police officer and was resisting arrest. The police are allowed to use reasonable force when necessary as it was in this case”, said Gagogosha