Justice Lot Moroka on Thursday dismissed a bail pending appeal application brought before him by five people who were recently convicted of having swindled the Central Medical Stores of P21 million by pretending that they had sold some pharmaceuticals to it whilst they had not.
Dismissing the application by the convicts: namely Bushy Nthibo, who was sentenced to six years in jail, Patrick Cole (five years) , Abraham Marumo (five years), David Tumagole (six) and Norman Maja (also five years), Moroka said that the appeal had no chance of succeeding in the High Court, explaining that such was the case because all the issues raised by the defence lawyer, Duma Boko, in the bail pending appeal application are similar to those raised and dealt with during the trial.
They include, amongst others, the issue of jurisdiction in which Boko said some of the offences his clients were convicted of were committed in South Africa and that, as such, he does not have jurisdiction to deal with such issues as they were committed outside Botswana.
Moroka had ruled that he has jurisdiction over the matter.
The other matter that Boko had raised was that of signatures, which he had said was not proven beyond doubt that they were forged.
On this, Moroka had ruled that there was abundant proof that they had been forged.
Boko has since indicated that he will appeal the matter to the Court of Appeal. The convicts, who had all along been on bail, are now behind bars serving time.
They have all been ordered to compensate the government of Botswana. The claim for compensation was made by Albert Molapisi, of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, after their conviction and sentencing. Boko indicated that he would appeal.