Friday, January 15, 2021

High Court dismisses DPP complaints in Seretse case

Serowe North East Member of Parliament, Ndelu Seretse, on Wednesday registered his first win in a corruption case he is facing when Lobatse High Court judge, Zibani Makhwade, dismissed an application brought by the Directorate of Public Prosecution complaining about the way Southern Region Magistrate Barnabas Nyamazabo presided over the case.

The DPP’s complaints were,┬áamongst others, that Nyamazabo allowed defence lawyer, Parks Tafa, to cross examine a witness on hearsay evidence, which┬áthey┬ásay is prejudicial to the state’s case.

They also raised a complaint that the defence lawyer was allowed to cross examine its witness, Taphudzani Peter Gabolekwe, on questions of law whereas he was a witness of fact.

Further, the DPP complained that Nyamazabo allowed the defence to ask misleading questions during the trial.

Tafa has dismissed the application, saying that it was a delaying tactic on the part of the state, adding that it lacked merit and should be dismissed with costs.

Dismissing the application, Makhwade said that the ruling in the case before him was an ordinary ruling in the course of a trial.

“The ruling does not dispense of any issue between the parties,” he said. ”The state still has a remedy; I am of the view┬áthat no special circumstances┬áhave been revealed┬áto warrant intervention of the High Court at this stage.”

On the requests made by defence lawyers for costs, Makhwade declined the request┬ásaying that, “The general rule┬áis that┬ácosts are not┬ágenerally awarded┬áin criminal cases. The Court can award┬ácosts┬áto show disapproval┬áof high-handed conduct┬áamounting to bad faith.”

He said he did not find that there are exceptional circumstances to depart from the general rule.
Finally, he ordered that the case should continue at the Magistrate Court .

Seretse and his lawyer, Lawrence Khupe, left the Court in┬ásmiles┬áafter their “victory”.

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