‘Insurance killer’ got maximum cover of P25, 000 on slain cousin Traditional doctors reported murder suspect to the police
Justice Modiri Letsididi at Lobatse High Court has set February,29th, 2024 as the date to sentence murder accused Thato Tsametse of Tumasera village in Tswapong area,
The 34-year-old Tsametse allegely killed his 17-year-old orphaned cousin, Arnold Kitso Ofentse on March, 2nd, 2018 in Mogoditshane for insurance money.
Ofentse was found dead under a Morula tree after telling his cousins that he was going to charge his phone at the neighbours’ house.
Evidence brought before court revealed that in 2017, Tsametse devised an evil ploy to raise capital to start a cab business. In August 2017, he got the ball rolling his business plan, buying two Mmoloki Funeral Policies at the maximum benefit of P25, 000 each.
Allegations are that the accused had insured Ofentse under Botswana Life Insurance’s Mmoloki Funeral Policy and at Barclays bank. Two weeks after allegedly killing his cousin, Tsametse is said to have claimed P50 000 from Barclays and Botswana Life policy for his benefits and bought a Honda Fit vehicle and a cellphone.
A Botswana Life, Fraud Risk Manager, Nonkululeko Rutang who is one of the state witnesses told the court that the accused person had bought a cover for his two orphaned cousins, Kelebogile Ofentse and Arnold Ofentse. The insurance company also reported the strange development to the police after Arnold was murdered.
The trial began in June before Lobatse High Court’s Justice Modiri Letsididi with at least 10 State witnesses. Amongst those who gave evidence was popular traditional healer Kamogelo Keitholetse also known as Rabeisane. He together with his nephew and fellow medicine man Lemogang Rukuyo told court of how visibly distraught Tsametse was when he came to seek to be cleansed for claiming human life.
The duo told court that Tsametse sought their services for the first time and went back as he had paid only P1000 of the required P1500 according to Keitholetse or P1600 according to Rukuyo. He would then return a week later only for them to call the police on him while he was still taking a ritual bath they had prepared for him.
The same day he was arrested, Tsametse took the police to a certain driving school in Mogoditshane where he showed them shoes he allegedly wore when he killed his cousin. The driving school owner Keemenao Sekgele told court that the police brought Tsametse on March 20th,2018 and he pointed out where he had hidden the shoes in the nearby bushes.
Meanwhile Tsametse’s attorney, Nkosana Ngwenya argued that the evidence from the two traditional doctors were contradictory to each other and that they were also not as written on their initial statements.
He further punched holes in the duo’s evidence by pointing out that it was not good enough as they also failed to ascertain who Tsametse said he had killed.
Ngwenya also argued that his client visited the healers to help him as he wanted to know why he was suspected to have killed someone and not seek spiritual protection from the law.
However the traditional doctors maintained that the suspect had told them he had killed someone.
Justice Letsididi ordered that Tsametse be brought back to court on the 29th of February for sentencing.
He is currently out on bail awaiting sentencing.