The Court of Appeal has dismissed an application in which former Gaborone Private Hospital employees, Malebogo Seeletso and Mpho Matlapeng, wanted their prosecution to be permanently stayed as the prosecution had taken too long to bring their case to court.
The two, who are facing 173 counts of stealing by servant, are accused of stealing over P580, 000 from their employer.
Dismissing the case, the Court of Appeal judges said that defense attorney Duma Boko had failed to contradict the explanation that was given by Detective Sub Inspector Merementsi, who explained that he took over investigations after the death of his predecessor.
The judges said that, in their complaint, the accused had failed to show any prejudice that they had suffered. They also said that it is not shown how the two’s defense will be hampered by the delay. As a result the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier judgment passed by Lobatse High Court judge Lashkavinder Walia, who had earlier on dismissed the two’s application.
They also dismissed defense attorney Duma Boko’s submission that it was unfair for the prosecution to sit back for well over five years and later bring the case back to court.
“That was simply not so. The affidavit filed by the respondent does offer a good deal of information in respect of the ongoing investigations and stands uncontroverted since there was no replying affidavit,” they said.
The judges also dismissed the defense’s contention that Justice Walia had erred and misdirected himself in awarding the costs against Seeletso and Matlapeng.
Matlhogonolo Phuthego appeared on behalf of the state on this matter.
In another matter at the Court of Appeal, the judges awarded Aobakwe Mongakgotla P5, 000 as compensation for unlawful arrest and detention. He had initially demanded P30, 000 but Lobatse High Court judge David Newman dismissed the case on grounds that the arresting officers had harboured a reasonable suspicion that Mongakgotla had participated in a robbery at Tshipidi Bar.