April 11 20109: Government has been forced to release convicted South African national, Vicey Molope, from prison after he successfully launched an appeal for his dismissal following the loss of his case file after a Gaborone magistrate’s car was broken into.
Molope was sentenced to 15 years in prison for partaking in the P1 million armed robbery of a security van in 2002, but he was released last month after serving only 8 years of his sentence.
The Public Relations Officer in the Department of Prisons and Rehabilitation, Senior Superintendent Wamorena Ramolefhe, confirmed Molope’s release.
He said that his release followed a Court order issued by Lobatse High Court judge David Newman.
The magistrate’s car was broken into while he was attending a funeral in Gaborone in 2007.
As soon as Molope heard that his file was missing, he launched an appeal at the High Court, arguing that he could not be held responsible for the loss of his file.
Molope, a former member of the South African Police Service, mounted his own defense during the trial. During the armed robbery, Molope was apparently dressed in Botswana Police Service uniform. Together with his accomplices, they went to the security company’s premises and demanded to be given the money as they were carrying out some investigations. An argument erupted, during which he produced a firearm and pointed it at the security guards who were manning the office.
He grabbed the money and skipped the country to his native South Africa. During his trial, a South African state witness told the court that Molope later boasted that he had hit a security company in Botswana.