Three men and a woman on Tuesday appeared before the Francistown Chief Magistrate, Christopher Gabanagae, for allegedly and unlawfully killing a python.
The four, Alex Mbodzi, Trevor Johnson, Unami Kgatso and Eltah Bakahe of Nata in the Central District allegedly killed the snake between May and June 2007 at Mantshwe Cattle post near Nata.
When giving evidence in court, a witness who is also an acquaintance of the four accused, said that at around the date of the crime, Mbodzi, who is also the first accused, came to her house looking for her husband who was not present. At the time he revealed that he needed her husband to help him kill a python.
When he realized that the husband was not there, Mbodzi left and went on his way. The witness would find them the following day at Malanga, Mbodzi’s residence, cooking a python.
She also revealed that she heard Bakahe, the third accused and also the wife to Mbodza, boasting about how they were going to sell the python skin to one buyer in Nata.
“She gave me the fat from the python suggesting that it is good for traditional medicine but I rejected the offer,” said the witness.
However, the witness admitted to leaving the four accused to their business and not reporting the matter to the police.
The second witness, a 15-year-old, told court that while he was at the cattle post, he saw Mbodzi and his wife Bakahe carrying the python and boasting of how they killed the snake. They took it to a nearby borehole and invited everyone to come and see the large snake. He stated that the following day Mbodzi and Bakahe took the coiled snake to his yard and skinned it. However, the witness denied ever seeing two of the accused, Trevor Johnson and Unami Kgatso.
All the accused men did not plead guilty to the charges and the evidence given by the witnesses. The first accused rejected all the evidence led by the two witnesses as full of irregularities and lacking credibility. The trial will continue on the 12th of August this year.