Sunday, May 29, 2022

Bail-skipping immigrants worry NGOs

Organizations advocating for the rights of vulnerable communities are raising concern over the rising number of court cases involving immigrants who flee the country after their bail is granted.
The Coordinator of Women’s Shelter, Theriso Motsumi Motsemeng, said the situation stemmed from the lack of support and cooperation between society and the police.

She said this development severely worries the organization, which she said is “a voice to the voiceless”. She also laid the blame on individuals who shield the suspects in the country.

Motsemeng said many child molesters and rapists have fled while their court cases are pending, giving examples of a Russian, a Kenyan and a Zimbabwean whom she had reported to the Sir Seretse Khama Airport Police Station for allegedly raping and molesting children.

“The law should be very strict by not granting foreigners bail as there is a history of them escaping the country,” Motsemeng said.

She further voiced concern over what she believes is the slow action and poor communication between police and community.

“Services like psychological therapy should be introduced for the benefit of the affected,” she said, adding that organizations like Women’s Shelter and Childline were finding such situations increasingly stressful.

She urged the police to continue providing society with follow-ups and giving feedback to the community to improve the effort against crime.

She said organizations such as Women’s Shelter, which accommodates most of the affected women, also need serious support as they are receiving overwhelming cases of abuse and rape.

“I challenge the government to rethink the conditions of giving bail, particularly in inhuman cases,” Motsemeng said.

And Sir Seretse Khama Airport Police Station Commander, Superintendent King Tshebo, confirmed two cases involving a Russian and a Kenyan who appealed a 10-year sentence. The two were convicted of raping minors.

“They did not comply with the condition of the bail given by the High Court,” said Tshebo.
He also said that the two incidents have served as an eye-opener for similar cases in future. The station commander said investigations are ongoing on these and other cases.

“The procedure is to trace them and present them before the court of law,” said Tshebo.

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