Accused attacks photojournalist at Court
by Mpho Keleboge
Chaos erupted at Village Magistrate Court before court proceedings when two men accused of armed robbery attacked some photojournalists.
The two accused demanded not to be photographed as they argued that they were appearing for a different case not the one the journalist were covering.
Joseph Gaei, in leg-irons and handcuffs, whispered to the photojournalist, Kabo Mpaetona of Mmegi, to come closer and asked the photographer to delete his image in his camera.
He then suddenly jumped up, grabbed Mpaetona’s camera and threw it on the floor, breaking it into pieces.
The incident happened at the upper floor of the Village Magistrate Court with only prison wardens escorting the accused who continued to threaten journalists, warning them to back off from them.
“I’m worried about the security in Court because our lives are in danger,” said BOPA journalist, Phenyo Moalosi.
State Prosecutor, Kabelo Nkwe, also concurred about the lax security at Court. Security personnel only arrived later after the hearing, to escort the accused back to prison.
Gaborone Central Police Station Commander, Superintendent Kervin Mookodi confirmed registering a case from a Mmegi photojournalist, saying that the case involved one Joseph Gaei the accused, who allegedly attacked him as he went about his professional duties at the Magistrate Court.
Mookodi said the broken camera is worthy about P25 000, adding that there is no fine except if the complainant asks for compensation. He said that Gaei is likely to be charged with malicious damage to property, which he said carries a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.
Police are investigating the matter.
Joseph Gaei, Agisanyang Makopo, Bampoloki Kgangphatsa and Golwelang Efetile were appearing in court charged with the armed robbery of Sebele Filling Station on 5th February 2012.