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The power of evil

The power of evil
SUSPECT: Gape Boitsalo


Two young men have been arrested for the savage attack of an elderly couple, during which the man was tortured and killed and his 75-year-old wife repeatedly raped in a terrifying 10-hour ordeal.

A third man is believed to have been involved in the vile attack, which took place in the late hours of Thursday night at Kgomoenosi cattlepost in Serule.

However, Serule Police have since told The Voice that they are not searching for the missing man, as the surviving witness (the old woman) was not able to provide an adequate description.

Unemployed Martin Chaenda, 25, from Serule and herdboy Gape Boitsalo, 27, from Robelela village have been charged with the 76-year-old man’s murder (his identity cannot be revealed to protect his wife’s anonymity).

The duo have not yet been charged with the woman’s rape, with police investigations currently ongoing.

The suspects briefly appeared before Selebi-Phikwe Magistrates on Tuesday morning, where they were duly remanded until their next court appearance, scheduled for the 23rd of June.

The previous night, The Voice managed to track down the deceased’s widow in Gojwane village, where she is currently recuperating at her sister-in-law’s place.

Frail and frightened but equally determined, the old woman, who was about to sleep when The Voice arrive, agrees to talk.

She moves with great difficulty, clutching a walking stick as she struggles to make the 2-metre distance from the house to the small fire where we are seated waiting for her.

Each step causes her obvious pain; her bent body now a ravaged blanket of bruises sustained in Thursday’s vicious and unprovoked attack.

The light of the fire reveals that she is blind in one eye and it comes as a shock to learn she is only 75 – she looks much older.

An eerie silence descends before the old woman composes herself and casts her mind back to the events of a few days ago.

She begins by explaining that earlier on the fateful day, she went with her husband to pick up their monthly old age pension from the post office.

“We then went to MmaThato’s shebeen for a few drinks as usual. Shine (her husband) then got into an altercation with a young man and since it was already late we took a taxi and left.”

The power of evil
SUSPECT: Martin Chaenda

The distraught old timer says she suspects the three crooks followed them to their secluded makeshift house at the cattlepost.

“We were awoken by voices inside our house, and when we panicked the young men drew knives and demanded money,” she continues.

She says while one pressed his blade to her throat, the other two relentlessly beat her defenceless husband.

“They showed no mercy. They squeezed his private parts and hit him repeatedly, ignoring his pleas for mercy.”

She says the assailants then went outside and lit a fire.

“They snatched a chicken, killed it and cooked it. After they’d had their fill they came back and continued assaulting my husband again. They burnt his chest with a flaming log and seemed to get so much joy in squeezing his testicles,” she remembers, and for the first time since the interview began, the old woman is momentarily overcome by emotion.

After a short break, in which the traumatised woman is comforted by her sister-in-law, she continues her harrowing narrative.

The old woman says while her husband was being tortured, she waited in terror for the moment the attackers would turn their attention on her.

Sadly, she was right to be scared.

Her fears were brutally confirmed as the men took turns raping her.

“Ba ntirisitse ngwanaka,” says the old woman quietly – meaning “they used me my child.”

She says the assault and rape went on until early Friday morning.

Teary eyed but with an almost expressionless face, the old woman calmly concludes the interview by whispering, “I want them dead.”

Meanwhile, Assistant Superintendent Timothy Chaba of Serule Police, told The Voice they received a report on Friday afternoon around 14:15 that there was somebody who was badly beaten.

“We found a 76-year-old man who looked to be in some discomfort. We took him to a clinic and later we received a report that he had died,” said Chaba – a simple, emotionless description to sum up a truly horrific incident.