Murder in Matshelagabedi

Christinah Motlhabane
SUSPECTS: Sejaka (l) and Robert

Bar brawl ends in tragedy

The border village of Matshelagabedi is in mourning after one of their favourite sons was stabbed to death during a bar brawl on Sunday night.

The last born of nine siblings, 34-year-old Mbotho Motsamai’s life was cut tragically short in a scuffle with two men at The Village Lounge bar.

The police arrested Thabo Robert, 23, and Otlhalefile Sejaka, 41, the following morning, charging both men with murder.

Reports vary on exactly what happened, with some saying it was a dispute over a lighter, others claiming they were competing for a woman’s affections, and some insistent that Motsamai was trying to play peace-maker and break up a fight.

The suspected killers were hauled before Francistown Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Robert sporting a bloodied, badly-bruised face and looking extremely nervous while his co-accused, Sejaka, appeared much more relaxed.

The duo, believed to have had run-ins with the cops in the past, were remanded behind bars, with prosecution pointing out investigations were just getting started.

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“The postmortem has not yet been collected and we are still to collect statements from the possible witnesses,” said the State Prosecutor, Chilume Mpena, adding emotions in Matshelagabedi were still dangerously high and it would be in the suspects’ best interests to remain locked up for their own safety, especially Sejaka, who lives in the village.

Making the 20km journey from Francistown on Tuesday afternoon, The Voice indeed found a village in shock, struggling to comprehend what has happened to one of their own.

With anguished faces, the grief in their eyes obvious, Motsami’s siblings describe their little brother as a man who loved life and was always smiling.

Murder in Matshelagabedi
DEVASTATED: Shimane Motsamai

“He was a joyful, bubbly person who liked football. He was full of jokes and was always making people laugh. His death deeply affected all of us in the family; it is hard on us now,” says a teary Shimane Motsamai, 49.

Another brother, 39-year-old Tabona Motsamai, speaks of a hard worker who was happy to help out at the fields and cattlepost.

“He loved dancing and was good at it,” remembers Tabone sadly.

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A third brother, 47-year-old Tagala Motsamai, who is also the village councilor, called for calm, stressing that while they are hurting, more violence is not the answer.

“I have been observing in the village Facebook page, residents are angry with the alleged killers. I plead with the people not to do anything to them but leave the law to do its job,” urged an emotional Tagala.

The slain man, who worked as a First Aider at MG Investments at Morupule Mine, will be laid to rest in Matshelagabedi on Saturday.

Murder in Matshelagabedi
CALLING FOR CALM: Tagala Motsamai

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