Retired Mahalapye Water Affairs station manager, John Maphanyane, was all in stitches on Wednesday, either from surprise or disappointment, as defence counsel recited sexual harassment cases he subjected his client to whilst at the helm of the department.
Cross examined by defence attorney Oteng Motlhala before magistrate Ishmael Molobe in the Mahalapye sub court, Maphanyane denied ever proposing love nor making any sexual advances towards his junior, Boitumelo Setabo.
Maphanyane denied ever summoning Setabo into his office and, in an attempt to seduce her, exposing his manhood to her.
He refuted allegations leveled against him that since the rejection by Setabo there existed bad blood between the boss and his junior to the extent of denying her out trips.
The former station manager recalled the reason he stopped Setabo from going out on trips was purely in good faith not borne out of ill will as purported by Setabo.
“She was the supervisor in the supplies department and to leave the office with juniors was inappropriate”, he said, adding, “She also had to give her subordinates a chance to go on trips.”
The reason he reported Setabo to the police did not come about as a result of the alleged bad blood but squarely on the evidence brought before him as the station manager.
He explained that the work relationship between him and Setabo was cordial as it was with other officers.
Setabo, 32, was in the dock for forgery alongside Phenyo Setlang, 28, and Phenyo Pheto, 31, both Paragon Services Limited employees. They faced a charge of obtaining money by false pretences.
Giving her testimony earlier, the whistle blower, Kesareng Selei, told the court that she was out on a month-long trip to Gaborone and when she resumed duty on June 5, 2006 in the Mahalapye Water Affairs offices, she discovered on an invoice dated May 3, 2006 that she had supposedly received 150 manhole covers, worth P48 00, from Paragon Services Limited. The document showed her full names and ‘her signature’ all indicating she collected the consignment.
She said to her understanding she never received goods from the said company.
Selei told the court that upon enquiries, she exposed Setabo as the culprit since she was the one who completed the GPO forms to facilitate payment to Paragon Services.
Worse still , she said , such goods were not available. She reported the matter to her bosses who later informed the police.
Asked by the prosecution if they usually append the name and signature on someone’s behalf, Selei replied in the negative.
“The receiving officer must personally receive and physically see the goods and append his or her name and signature,” she explained.
The case continues.