Whose bones are they anyway?

Sharon Mathala
ILLUSTRATION: Human remains
  • The mystery deepens on Lobatse missing child

  • “Rrabeisane has told me that three men and two women abducted my son for ritual purposes to improve their businesses. I believe they still haven’t killed him. The Police must release Rabeisane and allow him to help me.”

Almost two months later, the mother of a Lobatse 7- year -old standard one pupil who went missing in March is still hoping that her firstborn child would be found alive.

Not even a DNA test that police say has confirmed that the bones that were recently found on the outskirts of the town could convince the distraught but hopeful mother that the search has ended tragically for her boy.

Distressed but determined to search until she solves the mystery of the missing little boy, the young mother, Kesego Karema walked into The Voice offices on Wednesday night to tell the tragic story of how her son, Tlotso Karema disappeared without a trace and why she was convinced he was still alive.

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Tlotso was last seen on Friday, March 18, playing outside her house in Peleng location with other children from the neighborhood.

That morning his mother had prepared him for school and his stepfather had brought him back home from school.

The 27- year -old mother had gone to work that fateful morning as usual only to return around 8 PM to discover that her child had not come back home from the playground. She searched the neighborhood before she gave up and went to report him missing to the police around 11 PM.

“The police told me that they only start looking for a missing person after 48 hours. However, a community search party was launched on the same day but yielded nothing. Police only came to help three days later.

“ On April 13 April we received a text message from an unknown number directing the family to a place along the Kanye/Lobatse road where the sender claimed that he had seen four suspicious-looking people; two men and two women, driving a Honda fit-off loading something. We tried to call the number but it was unreachable,” said the mother.

The following day, police found a cracked human skull and clothes that the little boy was wearing at the same spot and Karema provided a blood sample for a DNA test. A week later she was told the test had proved the bones belonged to her son.

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BNF breakdown
ILLUSTRATION: Human remains

Karema rejected the DNA test results and asked the police to allow the family does whatever they can to find the missing boy.

The family then invited a dramatic diviner commonly known as “Rrabeisane to search for the child but the police arrested him before he could complete the search and locked him up causing an uprising in Lobatse which culminated in the arrest of 10 more people for rioting.

“ Rrabeisane has told me that three men and two women abducted my son for ritual purposes to improve their businesses. I believe they still haven’t killed him. I don’t know why the police arrested him before he could find the child. The Police must release Rabeisane and allow him to help me,” said the desperate mother, shedding a tear.

Explaining her reasons for rejecting the DNA test results Karema said, “That skull is too big to be my son’s and the teeth are too many to be of a 7- year old child. I also haven’t been given the pathology report. I am also concerned by the desperation of the police to try and force me to sign a death certificate at the Marina parking lot, which I of course refused to sign because I had already told them I didn’t believe that the bones belonged to my son and that I needed more time for private investigations.”

She further noted that the bones looked like they had been there for much longer than two months. “Police said my boy was chewed on by animals but what I find surprising is that the so called animals seem to have neatly undressed him before eating him because his clothes were still intact and without any blood stains.”

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Asked why she felt the Police would go out of their way to lie to her she said, “Your guess is as good as mine but there are just too many loopholes in their story to convince me that those bones are my son’s remains.”

She continued, “You know his younger brother always asks me where his brother is, and at first I had no answers. I still dish food for him because I believe one day he will come back to us. Something tells me he is alive and the bones are just a cover-up so that we give up and whoever has kidnapped him would then kill him.”

Nothing less than the positive results of an independent forensic evaluation would convince Karema that the bones indeed belong to her child. “If that would be the case I would accept my fate and mourn my son,” she said

Meanwhile, Police spokesperson Near Bagali had not responded to The Voice questionnaire on update on the matter at the time of going to press.