Matlhogonolo Phuthego, a lawyer with the Directorate of Public Prosecution, said that he is hopeful that South African singer, Tokollo Tshabalala, whom the Directorate wants extradited to Botswana to stand trial for having caused the death of Marea Monyatsi by dangerous driving 10 years ago, will appear in a South Africa court soon for the extradition hearing.
Phuthego said he was in touch with his colleagues in South Africa and they had reassured him that the musician would be taken to court very soon.
”Their response this time is very reassuring and I am hopeful that Tshabalala will soon appear in court for the extradition hearing”, he said.
He was, however, not able to reveal the dates for that hearing saying the issue was still being addressed.
”At this stage, I do not have the exact dates as to when that will happen but I am hopeful it will be very soon,” he stressed.
Phuthego also expressed optimism that this time around they would be successful after the first attempt to get the singer extradited to Botswana failed because of technicalities.
“This time, I think we will be successful in getting him extradited from South Africa to come and stand trial in Botswana”, he said confidently.
Tshabalala is alleged to have killed Monyatsi whilst he was driving in Gaborone one early morning close to 10 years ago. He is reportedly denying the charges and alleges that it was Bissau Gaobakwe who was driving when the accident occurred.
Tshabalala is also reported to have vowed that he would never set his foot in Botswana again and is reported to have celebrated when the Randburg Court in South Africa announced that he could not be extradited. The delay in getting Tshabalala extradited to Botswana and prosecuted is reported to have seen Monyatsi’s father confronting authorities in the DPP and complaining that the matter was taking long to be heard.
Before agreeing to having the extradition trial launched against Tshabalala, the South Africans, who abolished the death penalty soon after the country’s first democratic elections in 1990, wanted assurance that their citizen would not be sentenced to death if found guilty . They were given this assurance and told that under the laws of Botswana causing death by dangerous driving only carries a fine and jail term.
In another extradition case of suspects in South Africa, questions are being asked as to why the DPP wasted money and time to get a Motswana, Moshe Mere, and a South African, Issac Nyoni, extradited from South Africa on allegations that they took part in an armed robbery of the Baroda Bank in which thousands in different denominations was stolen but only to have charges against them withdrawn in their first appearance in court.
Charges against the two were dropped by the state prosecutor just after they appeared in court. This leaves Edward Mzwinila and his mother, Elizabeth Surtee, facing the charges.