In a case in which a Botswana Defence Force solider of Donga Camp in Francistown was coldly murdered last year, Francistown High Court Judge Modiri Letsididi on Friday denied the three men accused of the crime an opportunity for bail, citing the complexity of the matter and the time the three men had been remanded in custody.
The trio, Thatayaone Malebye, Kumbulani Matapa and Bashangani Baapotswe are alleged to have murdered Tshokodiso Plots on 26 October 2008 at the Monarch Location in Francistown by stabbing him with a sharp instrument. They then searched the deceased and took away his money, shoes and a cellphone.
Letsididi informed the bail applicants that the duration of their custody could not have allowed the investigation officers the chance to complete their investigation as murder was regarded a serious offence. He reminded the accused men that they had only been detained in prison for only seven months and yet they were already complaining in a case which involved the termination of human life.
The first accused Thatayaone Malebye had pleaded with court to grant him bail as he was a student at Boteti Brigade and had wanted to commence his studies. He further told court that his father had passed away and that he was in charge of his father’s cattle as he was the only son.
The judge ruled out their plea, informing the trio that in cases that involved murder, thorough investigations had to be conducted, giving an example of such things as DNA results, which have not been furnished to court yet and the tracing of the cellphone.
However, Justice Letsididi informed the accused men, that their application for bail can only be considered at least after 10 months of which he believed the investigation officers would be through with their investigations.
According to the supporting affidavit from the prosecution, the trio had a string of criminal records which involved robberies, assaults, unlawful wounding and stealing.
The state was represented by Counsel Careb Mbenda while the applicants represented themselves.