Police countrywide are dogged by the loss of exhibits, especially documentary exhibits.
Perpetrators benefit immensely as they are released scot-free whilst the victims cry in despair at justice not done.
Ramotswa police on Friday pleaded with Extension II magistrate, Enock Mazonde, to let off the hook a 19-year-old man of Siga Ward in Ramotswa because they could not locate the documentary evidence which was in their custody.
Inspector Moremi of Ramotswa police station told the court that medical report documents could have been misplaced or lost and, as such, prosecution could not proceed. Moremi pleaded with the court to withdraw charges and discharge the accused person citing Section 150(4) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
Terrence Maotwe, charged with defilement of girls under the age of 16, was thus discharged by the magistrate as requested by the police.
Maotwe was alleged to have had unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 on March 18, 2005.
In another case and during trial, Inspector Itumeleng Maruru of Central Police Station made a U-turn and pleaded with the court to withdraw charges against Sexton Segobaetso (34) because prosecution could not locate documentary evidence to support the charges leveled against the accused.
Inspector Maruru asked Extension II magistrate, Imafon Akpablo, to withdraw the charges and discharge the accused since the breathlyser print-out and the vehicle inspection report were unavailable, having been lost or misplaced under police custody. Without such documentary evidence there was no prospect of conviction, he said.
Akpablo thus discharged the accused with liberty to prosecute.
According to the evidence before the court, Segobaetso allegedly knocked down Elizabeth Keolekanye on November 18, 2006 while driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol at Marothodi Shopping Complex. Segobaetso further failed to provide a breath specimen.
He had been charged with drunken driving.