Monday, September 21, 2020

Accused fires fourth court appointed lawyer

A case in which Abel Nyasha and his female co-accused, Hluphekile Dube, both Zimbabwean citizens, are charged with murdering an Indian citizen, Ravjubhai Nawneetbhai Patel, and robbing him has been postponed to 18 and 19 May to give the Registrar and Master of Lobatse High Court time to appoint an attorney for Nyasha.

This will be the fourth time an attorney has been appointed for Nyasha only for him to part ways with the lawyers when the case was scheduled to start.

The case is before Lobatse High Court judge Gabriel Rwelengera.
In all the occasions, Nyasha stated in Court that he was not happy with the strategy the court-appointed attorney had chosen in representing him.

Commenting on the accused person’s behaviour, prosecutor Ambrose Mubika, of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, said that the accused person was buying time by refusing to cooperate with state appointed lawyers.
Mubika also said that they were worried about the accused person’s behaviour and that they just wished that he would cooperate with the new lawyer that the Master and Registrar will appoint for him.

“We just hope he will cooperate this time around,” he said. “His behaviour is really worrying us.”

He declined to say what they would do if he continued behaving this way.
Initially, three people were charged with the offence, which took place in Gaborone in 2006, but the third accused person, Isaac Ngoma, then turned state witness. This development brought rivalry and fights between Nyasha and Ngoma, leading to the two being separated, with Nyasha being remanded in Gaborone Central Prison whilst Ngoma is nearer to the Lobatse High Court in Lobatse Prison.

The state alleges that the accused persons were given the information about the deceased’s retirement and the amount of money he was bound to receive at the end of his contract; and that they then set out to murder him by strangling him with a rope they had been given by Dube who was a maid to the deceased.

Amongst other things, they are alleged to have robbed the deceased of US $1000 US, R10,000, and 334,902 Indian rupees and some household items.
The accused persons are amongst the over a dozen Zimbabwean citizens facing murder charges in Botswana over the past years.

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