After a prolonged stay in prison for over two years, Bakang Mosweu, who was convicted of rape by the Molepolole Magistrate Court, is suing government for over P1 million for unlawful detention.
Mosweu’s lawyers, of Khumomotse law firm, have notified government about their client’s intention to sue.
According to the notice served on government last week, Mosweu, aged 29, was convicted of raping a woman at Thamaga around 2006.
He consequently launched an appeal with Lobatse High Court, which quashed and set aside his rape conviction and 10-year jail sentence.
Justice Key Dingake set him free in August 2010 after holding that Mosweu was not advised about his right to cross examine the witnesses.
Immediately after being declared a free man, prison authorities locked up Mosweu again.
“Despite demands to be advised of the outcome of his appeal, he remained incarcerated and was only released from custody on the 2nd of March 2011 when prison officials finally obliged and sought to be furnished with judgment in respect of client’s matter by the High Court,” the notice from Mosweu’s lawyers reads in part. “Reckoned from 11th August 2010 (when client was acquitted by the High Court), to 2nd march 2011 (when client was released), client’s detention accounts for a staggering period of 7 months.”
Mosweu says for the time he was locked up in prison, he has lost a number of business opportunities and therefore wants money for loss of business during his incarceration. At the time of his conviction, Mosweu was a hawker.
“In the circumstances, we advise that our client’s continued detention for seven months after the High Court had set aside his conviction and sentence was without just cause, thus unlawful, therefore we hereby demand on behalf of our client damages as follows: P1 000 000 for unlawful detention and P100 000 for loss of business,” it further states.
Mosweu’s lawyers have urged government to propose a settlement proposal within 30 days or their client will continue with his case.