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A 30-year-old man of Disaneng ward in Maun accused of murdering his six-year-old stepson in August this year, was this week denied bail by Maun Chief Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu.
The accused person Godfrey Khumoemang is charged with three counts – one of murder, another of arson and attempted murder. According to court papers, Khumoemang is charged with the murder of a 6-year-old Osi Chakona, attempted murder of the child’s mother Oboletse Chakona and arson (burning Oboletse Chakona’s car).
In his bail ruling Mulalu noted that the Investigating Officer in the case was adamant that the accused person attempted to kill the deceased’s mother before he went on to kill the 6-year-old fearing that if granted bail he is highly likely to fulfil his intention of causing her (deceased’s mother) harm.
“I find that the accused person is likely to commit repeated criminal offences should he be released on bail. There is a cognisable indication that the accused person would otherwise obstruct the proper course of justice should he be released on bail pending trial,” Mulalu ruled.
The Investigating Officer, Detective Constable Moreka had objected that the accused person has a conviction before Broadhurst Magistrate Court for the offence of assault and unlawful wounding. He added that prior to commission of the offence at hand, Khumoemang is said to have attempted to murder the mother to the deceased in this matter.
He argued that the accused person is very violent therefore society needs to be protected against people like him, more so that the country is currently grappling with Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases.
In his bail application, Khumoemang had argued that should he be denied bail pending his trial he stands to suffer prejudice both personally and financially. He believes it would be in the interest of justice for him to be granted bail to enable him a chance to prepare for his trial by raising funds to afford an attorney.
Khumoemang further argued that the offences in count 2 and 3 were falsely framed in a bid to deny him bail. He stated that he is currently getting professional help on his anger issues and further said if granted bail he will stay in Mochudi or Tonota away from the deceased’s mother.
According to a police report, the couple which stayed together at Disaneng Ward reportedly engaged in a heated argument in mid-august after Kgosiemang accused the woman of infidelity.
The accused is reported to have forcibly abducted the woman and subjected her to physical abuse during a car ride but she somehow managed to escape and return home.
To her anguish, she found her child missing, prompting strong suspicions that her estranged partner had abducted the child. She immediately reported the matter to the police and the search for both the man and her child begun. According to the police, as the search went on police received a tip-off about a burning vehicle in Disaneng where upon arrival they found that the said vehicle belonged to the woman.
Police continued with the search but as dawn broke the following day, the suspect handed himself at the police station, where he confessed to being responsible for the disappearance of his stepson and subsequently led them to his location. The confession took horrifying turn when law enforcement officers discovered the seemingly lifeless body of the child in the boot of another car he was using.
The child’s body was then rushed to Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital where he was confirmed dead. Though the official cause of the minor’s death awaits confirmation from the autopsy results, police said the accused person has however confessed that he strangled him to death. Khumoemang will appear on the 9th November 2023 for status update.