The 30 people who were arrested in connection with setting Lentsweletau Main Kgotla on fire and vandalising a newly built mortuary this past Sunday were set free on bail this Wednesday by the Molepolole Magistrate Court.
The angry mob ran amok on Sunday, setting the village’s various landmark structures ablaze on account of the mysterious disappearance of Andrew Mokokong, a 32-year-old man who has since been declared a missing person from as way back as the 17th of March 2021.
The suspects are alleged to have also damaged government cars and administration buildings at the kgotla, including burning down a house used by one of the police officers in the village. In an interview with Pula24, Botswana Police spokesperson Dipheko Motube confirmed that the suspects appeared before Molepolole Magistrate Court to answer for charges of malicious damage to property.
Motube noted that the suspects were wrong to vandalise property only on suspicion of what could have happened to the missing person in question, adding that it was only proper that the aggrieved members of the community allowed the law to take its course.
Details of how the man went missing remain sketchy despite common talk in the village is that he had been out drinking with one businessman closely associated with him, and had reported to those close to him that he had been startled by what he saw at the businessman’s house. It was the last time he was seen, and villagers have been pointing fingers to the business community in the village, as well as to the leadership.
Following reports that his undergarments were spotted by a search party in the bush, the villagers concluded he had been killed either for ritual purposes, or to prevent him talking about what he had seen.
Meanwhile, the distraught Director of Pako Funeral Parlour, Irene Tshukudu, has decided to leave everything to the law enforcement agents on the matter of her property being damaged by the angry mob. She told this publication that she lost over half a million pula in damages, including a severed generator as well as steel refrigerators among other valuables.