- Faces charges of unlawful wounding in relation to the girl’s mother and intimidation in relation to the mother’s relatives
Motlatsi Khoto (44) was last Friday arraigned before Francistown Magistrate Cele Lebakeng after he allegedly murdered his 9-year old stepdaughter, Metlha Sibanda, at Marobela two days before.
The last time the little girl was seen alive was when Khoto, who works as Aircraft Marshall at the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana, allegedly ferried her from Area W in Francistown under the pretext that he was going to buy her sweets.
Sibanda’s aunt subsequently went to Tatitown Police Station and reported her as missing. A massive search ensued during which eye witnesses told the police that they had last seen the little girl when she was in the company of her stepfather.
Khoto was arrested in the manhunt that followed Khoto and has been remanded in custody inspite of pleading depression.
He allegedly stabbed the little girl to death with a sharp instrument and buried her in a shallow grave in Marobela. Prior to that horrendous incident, it is alleged that the accused had had a misunderstanding with the mother of little Sibanda.
The investigating officer, Detective Assistant Superintendent Lawrence Nthoiwa, appealed to the court to remand Khoto in custody because investigations were still at an early stage. “Your Worship, the incident occurred on Wednesday and we are yet to record statements from key witnesses,” Nthoiwa said.
He noted that Khoto also had other cases to answer, including one of unlawful wounding after he allegedly assaulted little Sibanda’s mother.
“The accused person has (yet) another case of intimidation registered at Tatitown Police Station which involves the deceased’s relatives,” Nthoiwa said.
He expressed fear that if the accused person was granted bail, he may commit similar crimes.
Whereupon Magistrate Lebakeng asked the accused if he had children of his own to which Khoto answered in the affirmative. The magistrate pressed on: “How would you feel if I killed your children? After allegedly committing such a dreadful act, you have the nerve to apply for bail?”
Taunting the accused further, the magistrate queried if Khoto had committed the offence when he under the influence of illicit drugs.
The accused responded that he was suffering from depression and asked the court to make an order for him to go seek professional help.
“You will be further remanded in custody until February 2nd,” Magistrate Lebakeng returned.