Two armed robbery suspects, Thulani Ndemeni and Tshepo Bhebhe have made startling claims before Francistown Magistrate, Cele Lebakeng last week when they accused the police of torturing to death their co-accused person, 37 year old Taxi driver Boitshepo Kenyaditswe.
The State alleges that the trio on the 3rd of March 2018 at Block 3 location jointly with the same intent stole a black bag containing various clothing items, a cell phone and other valuables and used violence against the complainant. When appearing for mention the two told Magistrate Lebakeng that they did not commit the offence. “The late Kenyaditswe is the one who committed the offence as the complainant identified him during a parade while we were in police custody,” they said.
Bhebhe claimed that they were tortured by being suffocated individually in holding cells at Kutlwano police station. “Your worship the following day I was taken to Tati Town police station and I was told by another suspect that the police have killed Kenyaditswe. I was so terrified and feared for my life as the police brutality is unbearable,” he revealed. Bhebhe noted that the police then went to the late Kenyaditswe’s family to inform them about his demise. He appealed to the magistrate to make an order so that he can be taken to the hospital for medical attention as he sustained injuries while being tortured.
Magistrate Lebakeng ordered that the prosecution should avail the Investigating Officer to respond to the accused persons’ allegations. “Make sure you avail the Investigating Officer of this case in the next mention date so that he can give evidence and respond to the claims made by the two accused persons,” Lebakeng said. She also ordered that Bhebhe should be taken to the hospital for medical attention. The two were further remanded in custody and are due to appear before court on the 13th of April 2018.
Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube was quoted in one of the local newspapers confirming the incident. Motube said Kenyaditswe was not feeling well during interrogation and was rushed to Nyangabgwe referral hospital where he was confirmed dead upon arrival. He lamented that the late Kenyaditswe was being questioned for a series of armed robbery cases.
A police source also told this publication that the late Kenyaditswe was also a suspect in numerous cases of robberies involving bombing Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and possession of explosives.