A Botswana Congress Party councilor, Interest Tawele, has slapped the state with a multi million pula lawsuit demanding compensation for unlawful arrest and detention, defamation and malicious procedure.
Councilor Tawele made headlines last year after he was arrested and remanded in custody over the abduction and murder of 14-year-old Lesego Phenyego whose charred remains were found in a bush behind Goldmine Junior Secondary School. The young boy’s step father, Steve Phenyego, was also arrested together with Tawele. The councilor was later granted unconditional bail after it was established that there was no concrete evidence linking him to the young boy‘s murder.
Indications are that the police case against the two is slowly waning as the boy’s step father was granted bail by the Francistown High Court. The councilor, represented by attorney Phadza Kgalemang of Kgalemang and Associates, has since instituted legal proceedings against the arresting officer, Assistant Superintendent Madziba Duna, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police.
In a writ of summons submitted to the high court, Kgalemang says that assistant superintendent Duna, together with a horde of police officers from Kutlwano police station, arrested Tawele without a warrant and with no prima facie evidence linking him to the murder. He further argued that the arrest was unlawful and perpetuated by malice, gossip and rumour and that his client was later arraigned before the Francistown magistrate court and later remanded in court for 14 days, still with no evidence linking him to the murder, until the High Court granted him bail.
Kgalemang also says that his client suffered damages of deprivation of liberty and freedom, discomfort of prison life and is, therefore, seeking compensation to the sum on P2 million. The summons also says that Tawele‘s arrest and remand was malicious as they knew that he was due to embark on an educational trip overseas. Kgalemang is also seeking P2 million for malicious procedure, P3 million for defamation and P23 800 for the costs of defending himself.