‘I kept the plastic bag because I found it suspicious’ - father on the death of his daughter
Father wants closure for his daughter’s mysterious death
For a full year, George Botlhoko kept a plastic wrap that had a sandwich eaten by his daughter Bonolo Modiseemang hours before she died.
On September 6, he gave it to the police believing it would assist in their investigation into the death of Modiseemang in August last year.
A month later, Modiseemang’s body was exhumed and evidenced collectedm which ultimately led to the arrest of her aunt, Agnes Segomotso Setshwantsho, 49, the woman accused of killing relatives in a multimillion-rand insurance scam.
Setshwantsho, was arrested on Thursday and appeared on Friday at Mmabatho magistrate’s court in Mahikeng, North West. She is charged with Modiseemang’s murder, two counts of fraud and defeating the ends of justice.
Police began looking into a number of inexplicable deaths in the family, including the death of Setshwantsho’s toddler son, which was followed by the death of her husband and their two children.
She once featured on a Moja Love TV show, Mamazala, a show providing mediation for people with troubled relationship with their in-laws. She said on the show her in-laws were accusing her of killing her husband in 2016, allegations she flatly denied.
Modiseemang died in August last year, leaving behind two young children.
Her husband, Tebogo, said Modiseemang had woken him up and told him she was feeling dizzy. She started vomiting.
“I asked her what was wrong and she said she ate a sandwich given to her by her aunt [Setshwantsho],” said Tebogo.
He said Setshwantsho and other relatives arrived and they rushed Modiseemang to a doctor suggested by Setshwantsho in Mmabatho.
“We drove there and on arrival I was told that consultation fee was R700 and I had only R300 on me. I left my wife there and went to withdraw more money and when I came back, my wife had died,” he said.
The family said they were told by authorities that Modiseemang had died of natural causes.
Tebogo said on the day of Modiseemang’s funeral, Setshwantsho inserted herself in the programme to be a person to inform mourners on what had led to the death of the deceased.
“She did not say anything about my wife’s illness and instead she spoke about irrelevant things. I was stunned,” he said.
He said Setshwantsho donated a cow for Modiseemang’s funeral.
Tebogo informed his father-in-law [Batlhoko] about the sandwich his wife had eaten on the day she died and the father kept the plastic in which the sandwich was wrapped in.
Batlhoko said he kept the plastic bag because he found it suspicious that his daughter could fall ill after consuming bread.
“Tebogo gave me the plastic bag and I kept it in my car for more than a year because I had planned to seek the services of a private investigator who would then have the bag tested for any poison,” said Batlhoko.
Batlhoko said 10 days after his child’s funeral the family received a visitor from an insurance company who informed them Setshwantsho had taken a R3m life insurance cover on Modiseemang months before her death.
“We had no idea that my daughter had a policy. The insurance people told me that they would help investigate the claim. I had hope they would help until one day they called and told us that the claim had been rejected.
“I drove around with that plastic back in my car with the hope that one day it might give closure to my daughter’s mysterious death,” said Batlhoko who is a scholar transport driver.
He said police visited him on September 6 and he gave the plastic bag to Sgt Keshi Mabunda who is investigating the case. On October 11, police exhumed Modiseemang’s body with intention of determining the cause of death.
Setshwantsho’s family said they never really knew what work she does as she lived at various towns and only went home a few times. She had told them she was a lawyer and that she had other business interests including running a driving school.
On her Facebook profile she claims to work for Human Rights Defender and Access to Justice Advocacy Centre, a Cape Town-based organisation listed as an NPO that provides legal services.
The family said they were never in good terms with Setshwantsho and this emanated to her going on TV to air the family’s laundry.
“She even brought TV people to our home and intimidated my mother. Those things did not sit well with my mother, that is why she could not go to court on Friday. She is heartbroken,” said Setshwantsho’s brother-in-law Itereleng.
In court on Friday, the prosecutor said the state will oppose Setshwantsho’s bail as she is facing schedule six offence. She was remanded in police custody and the case was postponed to this week for formal bail application.
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