Thursday, October 1, 2020

Daisy Loo retrial set to begin after numerous adjournments

A case in which the Managing Director of Daisy Loo, Modiri Dijeng and four other persons are charged with inflating the costs of a tender awarded to Daisy Loo is finally scheduled to start on November 23 after several adjournments.

The first adjournments occurred after the presiding magistrate, Terrence Rannowane, was appointed acting judge to the Francistown High Court. After the appointment, one of the defense lawyers, Unoda Mack, requested that Rannowane should recuse himself from the case as his appointment to the High Court effectively bars him from presiding over cases held at the magistrate court. Mack argued that the case might eventually be referred to Rannowane at the high court. Rannowane adjourned the case but finally concurred that he cannot preside over the case. The case was then allocated to the current deputy registrar of the Lobatse High Court, Takura Charumbira.

Immediately after that, another defense lawyer, Joar Salbany, made an application to the effect that Charumbira should also recuse himself from the case as he has dealt with it during his tenure at the Lobatse High Court. Charumbira refused to recuse himself on grounds that he had only dealt with the administrative matters of the case, and at no time were the merits of the case discussed.

Salbany insisted, saying that he wants to call Chirumbira as a witness in future, especially since he has conceded that he has dealt with the case before. He further made an application that Chirumbira should produce the notebook that he was using during the case. Chirumbira finally gave up and recused himself from the case.

The case was further adjourned after one of the defense lawyers fell ill.

The other accused persons in this matter are Gilbert Sonke Sithole, Saddi Abbey, Gaborone City Council, Frank Stegling and Frank Molaletsi.
The matter arose after Daisy Loo submitted an invoice of over P24 million to the Gaborone City Council, as charges for some bush clearing work it carried out in Gaborone North.

Susan Mangori, of Directorate of Public Prosecution, is prosecuting whilst Unoda Mack, Joar Salbany, Dick Bayford and Tebogo Sebego represent the accused.

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