Five people charged with inciting violence after identifying a Molepolole homestead as the place where a missing six-year-old boy was being held captive were recently granted bail.
The five accused include female trio, Tshepang Ketumile, 26, Tumelo Kebuletswe, 31, Onkemetse Jacob, 24, and their male counterparts, 56-year-old Molemi Ntesang and Rabikha Sebonego aged 57.
Their unfounded claims led to a bloodthirsty mob demanding entry into the fingered guesthouse, located next door to the little boy’s residence in Lekgwapheng ward.
The mob ended up severely vandalising the property, smashing windows and causing thousands of Pula’s worth of damage.
About 19 people were injured in the chaos that ensued, including 14 police officers dispatched to the scene to restore the peace.
An extensive search for the missing boy, Oarabile Lekgoanyana, ended four days later (Friday the 1st of September), when his lifeless body was found at the bottom of a Dithejwane well, located on the outskirts of the village.
Speaking to The Voice this week, the dead child’s mother Bonno Lekgoanyana, 38, revealed that Oarabile had been out collecting firewood with his father, Oshima Kelekgethetse, 57, when he went missing on August the 29th.
Sensing that something was wrong, Bonno immediately sought the help of two sangomas.
“I took Oarabile’s t-shirt to two prophets and they told me my boy was still alive and that they would try to assist me in finding him,” narrated the distressed mother.
According to Bonno, during the search for her son, another man, a member of Zion Christian Church (ZCC), approached her family claiming that a spirit had told him Oarabile was inside their neighbour’s house.
The Voice heard how the prophets subsequently accused Bakang Sebodge, the owner of the guesthouse, of abducting the missing child.
It was these allegations that led to a charge of inciting violence.
Appearing before Molepolole Magistrates Court, Ketumile pleaded to be granted bail, claiming she did not understand the charge as she and her co-accused had been arrested and detained by the time the riot started.
In his defence, Ntesang told the court Sebodge had given them permission to search the house so that they could tell others that the boy was not inside.
Before granting the suspects a free bail, which was unopposed by the prosecution, Senior Magistrate Lindiwe Makgoro advised the police to gather solid evidence before the next mention set for the 13th of November.