Grieving mother wants justice
The mother of the late Tshepang Motlhabane, killed in cold blood by one Thabo Masilo, has this week spoken of her anguish, revealing that the pain of losing her daughter has not gone away.
And the longer the trial takes, Kgololesego Diratsame says it’s unlikely she will ever be able to put her adopted daughter’s senseless killing behind her. Tshephang, who would be 24-years old this year, was brutally raped and murdered on November 17th 2012 by the convicted Masilo.
There was a time Masilo gave the impression that the crime was being pinned on him wrongfully, but recently, he admitted to his heinous crime. In a strange twist, however, Masilo blamed the killing on a lovers’ spat gone wrong, suggesting that Tshepang was actually his lover whom he had even given his phone.
But the furious mother of the slain girl has rubbished this claim and says even the phone Masilo claims to have lent the former St Joseph’s College student, belonged to her.
“Tshepang didn’t have a phone. The phone that was retrieved following her death belonged to me. I gave it to her that day to contact me should there be any problems at home since schools were closed and she was just going to be alone,” she explains. Speaking exclusively to The Midweek Sun, Diratsame choked back tears as she recalled the incident. She reveals she still hurts 'every single day' knowing that she has been robbed of the only daughter she would ever have, and that five years on, her killer is still yet to be punished for his heinous crime.
She said: “It hurts me every single day to know what happened to Tshephang, the pain she endured and that I won’t see her ever again. We had grown so close, you wouldn’t believe she was not my biological daughter.” Tshephang’s biological mother passed away when she was still a child and she spent the better part of her childhood with her grandmother before Diratsame decided to adopt her even though the process had not been finalised.
In the years that Tshephang stayed with her and her son, Diratsame said they grew so close and had mutual love and respect for each other. “It’s not easy to raise a child who is not biologically yours but the bond and love we shared, you wouldn’t believe we didn’t have the same blood in our veins.
“And it’s not just me that is devastated, her brother Kabo hurts every day because of his loss. As a family, we have collectively grieved and it doesn’t ever get any better for us when the killer continues with his life and even makes unfounded claims. Any mother who has lost a child knows exactly the devastation I feel, it’s the worst pain in the world and one that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.” She added: “She was so young, ambitious and her life was taken far too soon. She was the baby of the family and I think about her every day,” she said.
As for Masilo, Diratsame said she has seen a flicker of remorse in him and it doesn’t even matter to her anymore. “The law and God will judge him accordingly,” she concluded. The case, which for the past five years has been in and out of the courts, resumes in June. Masilo is currently serving a 10-year jail sentence after he was convicted early in 2015 by Village Chief Magistrate Lenah Oahile-Mokibe for raping and robbing another woman in Phase IV, Gaborone.