A young man who escaped death by a whisker after police chased, shot at him and beat him to a pulp in a case of mistaken identity has spoken out.
23- year- old Keorapetse Thamage opened up about his nightmare at his house in Kopong where he was recovering this week.
Narrating his weekend ordeal to The Voice Newspaper, the traumatised young man said he was returning from Artesia where he was sent by his parents to buy donkey meat when the police attacked him around midday.
“I was using the back gravel road at the time. The road has a point where its narrow and cars have to take turns to pass. I waited for the oncoming grayish Chevrolet to pass so I could have my turn,” Thamage explained.
But instead of passing the occupants of the Chevrolet opened fire on Thamage and terrified, he sped off.
“I was in the middle of the bush, they did not give any warning signs and even if they did I probably wouldn’t have stopped because they were not uniformed officers,” he said.
Thamage finally stopped his car in Kopong.
“I had decided I was only going to stop where there would be witnesses. There was a point during the gravel road chase where I nearly lost control of the car but I managed to get it back on track, I stopped in Kopong and that’s when they pounced on me,” he said.
The two officers, Thamage revealed never identified themselves to him but proceeded to push him to the ground, handcuff and assault him.
“When the SSG officers arrived on the scene they took me to the Kopong police post and interrogated me. They told me that there was a robbery at some shop in Pilane (Mochudi) and I was a suspect. They said that the robbery involved a white Mazda car similar to the one I was driving,” he said.
The man further related to The Voice that he was then taken from one police station to the other until he was eventually released in the early hours of the next morning.
“When they realized I was not the suspect they were looking for, they tried to say the meat I was carrying in the car was stolen. They then traced my steps and discovered it was not,” Thamage said, further adding that he was in talks with the Police to discuss the way forward and did not rule out the possibility of taking the matter to the courts.
Reached for comment the Mogoditshane Police acting station commander confirmed the incident saying that the Police shot at the man because they suspected he might have been involved in a robbery.
“The incident did happen but I cannot say anything much on it because it is a Mochudi matter. The drama happened in my policing area but Mochudi police can better explain what happened.”
Mochudi Police station commander was unavailable as their phone rang answered.