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Who shot Montshiwa

Bame Piet
ACQUITTED: Modise David

Inside the world of gansters, guns, drugs and murder

Michael Montshiwa breathed his last on the night of October 18, 2015. Neighbours heard gunshots and as Montshiwa lay dead at his house in Gaborone’s Block 6 suburbs a car was seen taking off, but note of the witnesses could identify the occupants.

As police investigations got underway, Montshiwa’s attorney- Modise David, became a key suspect together with an accomplice, Tumelo Tshukudu who later turned state witness.

The acquittal of Modise David by Justice Zein Kebonang last Friday in the murder of Michael Montshiwa presented a classic movie script, and a glimpse into a world of drugs, guns and gangsters.

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This week we look at the chronology of events that transpired before the murder of former Fairgrounds Holdings CEO, Montshiwa, as shared by one of the witnesses, Wilfred Mpolokeng.

June 2015

David and Tumelo Tshukudu visit Wilfred Mpolokeng a gangster (now reformed) in Mafikeng. Tshukudu assures him that David is also a gangster and one of them, through a coded greeting.

Mpolokeng and Tshukudu used to traverse the Rustenburg – Gaborone route peddling marijuana and would occasionally visit each other in Mafikeng and Gaborone respectively. During one of their Mafikeng visit David and Tshukudu brought a third person they introduced to Mpolokeng as a DIS agent. They were looking for a 9mm pistol.

The witness told the court that; “In an attempt to assist the first accused person, he called a friend in Johannesburg who assured them that he could get a police or army pistol for ZAR4000.00 and that an immediate ZAR500.00 would be needed upfront. David paid the R500 shortly thereafter,” he told the court later during trial.

Mpolokeng finds it strange that an attorney would be looking to buy a gun.

September 2015

David and Tshukudu return to Mafikeng to follow up on the gun but none had been received from the Johannesburg contact. While everyone is understandably disappointed, David urges Mpolokeng to continue looking for the gun.

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October 17th 2015

Mpolokeng attends a funeral in Gaborone and sleeps at Tshukudu’s house in Mogoditshane.

October 18th, 2015

David visits Mpolokeng in Mogoditshane and Tshukudu tells the two men about a planned visit to Johannesburg to fetch a gun. David later tells Molokeng and Tshukudu that the Joburg trip has been called off and that another gun has been found locally and asks Mpolokeng if he knows how to clean a malfunctioning gun.

Mpolokeng is then taken to David’s law firm where he is given a gun and a green bag to clean. Mpolokeng is told that the gun had been obtained from a certain traditional doctor and he promptly recalls seeing the weapon when visiting the doctor known as Seiso. He had visited Seiso for consultation sometime back in 2013-14. Mpolokeng chooses to use hand gloves to handle the gun.

The three men then leave David’s office to look for bullets to test the gun. They head to Block 8 where they get five bullets from a man driving a Range Rover before dropping Mpolokeng off at Millenium Bar in Mogoditshane.

1900hours- David and Tshukudu give Mpolokeng P200 to keep himself entertained while they head out to test the gun.

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2000hours – The accused persons return to Millenium Bar. David then leaves without saying where he is going except that he has to give the gun to some people who are waiting for him.

2300hours – David returns to pick Tshukudu and Mpolokeng up and drives to Kumakwane to drop off a new female friend that Mpolokeng had met earlier at Millenium Bar. Upon their return to Gaborone, David drops off Mpolokeng and Tshukudu at Gaborone West.

October19th

0800hours – David arrives at Gaborone West to announce the news that Montshiwa had been shot and killed and that he was not allowed access to his yard since it was barricaded by the Police. Mpolokeng recollects that although he does not know the deceased, David had communicated with him the previous day.

Mpolokeng learns later on two subsequent visits to Botswana that David and Tshukudu are suspects in the murder and decides to minimize his contact with them as police might intercept their communication.

He was later interviewed by Botswana Police in Mafikeng and later told the court that he believed David was involved in the murder.

February 2016

A key witness in the case, Abo Kgwarae, is found dead along the Lobatse road near Kgale junction, with police investigations pointing to a possible mugging by petty thieves.

When maintaining his innocence during trial, David told court that the last time he was holding the disputed gun, he was handing it to Kgwarae on the night Montshiwa was murdered.

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When passing judgement on June 23, 2023, Justice Dr Zeinub Kebonang observed that the evidence against David was circumstantial, further noting that to convict on circumstantial evidence the facts must line up like wagons behind a locomotive. “I find in the instant case that the State’s evidence does not line up and that the guilt of the 1st accused has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. For this reason the 1st accused is acquitted and discharged of the offence of murder,” he ruled, putting to sleep the eight-year-long murder case and leaving investigators with the million dollar question WHODUNNIT if Modise Melusi David didn’t?

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