Friday, October 30, 2020

Judge berates DPP for taking cases for granted

Francistown High Court Judge, Tshepo Motswagole, last week stormed at the state prosecutors for taking cases for granted.

Motswagole said that there is a habit by some of the state prosecutors to trample on the rights of the accused by not doing their job well.

The judge said this after the state counsel, Chimbisana Sechele, had pleaded with court to postpone a case in which Thato Sekati, a murder suspect, was pleading with the court to grant him bail pending trial.

Sechele has told court that he did not have records of the case as it was held by another prosecutor in Mahalapye.

“The accused has been languishing in jail since 2008 up to 2010 before his case could be heard and you want me to postpone the case” asked Motswagole. “I will not do that and the case will have to proceed.”

Motswagole also spat fire at the prosecution, saying that the public was always complaining about how the state handles cases.

Motswagole demanded that the prosecutor explain how such a case could leave the applicant to languish in jail for two years without justice taking its course. He mentioned that the prosecution had ample time to make sure that all documents of the case where intact.

“Why did the state not seek the assistance of the police with the duty to help furnish them with the records,” he demanded.

Motswagole told the court that it has become habit by the state prosecution to drag its feet when it comes to the justice of suspects, which is one of the most irking experiences he got when he joined the criminal justice system. He said that the accused had been rotting in jail for almost two years, a situation he labeled as “infringement of justice”.

Sechele prayed to the court to give the applicant bail on condition that he obeys bail conditions.
Motswagole then granted the applicant bail on condition that he provides two sureties for P2 000, reports to Mahalapye Police Station every Monday after two weeks, surrenders travel documents to the police and also provides surety for P2 000 in his own recognizance as demanded by the state.
The applicant, Thato Sekati, was charged with murder in Mahalapye on the 30th of April in 2008.

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