Sunday, January 17, 2021

Land Board officers appear in Court on corruption charges

Four Mogoditshane Subordinate Land Board members appeared in court last week, accused of corruptly accepting more than P38 000 as reward for unlawfully allocating plots to Dr Machete (Plot No. 8700, Block 7), Norman Maphorisa (Plot. N0. 9004, Block 9) and Kefilwe Odisitse (Plot No. 9585, Block 9) all in Mogoditshane.

The four accused employees are Kaboyaone Segola, Maggie Mathumo, Tiny Khole and Kgomotso Tlhabanelo.
State prosecutor, Priscilla Israel, accused the defense lawyer of delaying the 2004 Mogoditshane land corruption case.

Israel said the defense was delaying the case with petty issues, such as demanding certified copies of documents while they have been told that the state could not produce certified copies.
She urged the court to set trial dates and for the accused to take a plea, saying the defense had been provided with all the material that they can use for their defense.

”I don’t know what more they want from us; how can we certify copies of some documents, the tendering of which will come at a later stage, not now. At the right time, they can use them or raise any objections if they felt prejudiced,” she said, adding that, “The state is concerned with the manner in which the defense is taking this matter. This is not a civil matter; it is a criminal matter where the witness will be called to the witness box. I don’t know why they are delaying the case. The charge sheet has been resolved and we have dropped another count so I just don’t know why this case keeps being delayed by little things.”

Defense lawyer, Omphemetse Motumesi, said he had a legitimate complaint as a court order is not being complied with. He added that, in previous hearing, the court ordered the prosecution to provide certified documents, which it had failed to do and was now resorting to calling it a petty issue.

Motumesi said for the point of law, the court ordered that all documents should be certified.
“I am now hearing this for the first time that the copies cannot be certified because they are called little things,” Motumesi said. “I can’t just sit when my client’s Constitutional rights are being violated by the state.”

The heated argument between the two parties was rescued by the magistrate who told them that she had been advised to speed up the case. ”This is one of the three cases that I have been advised to speed up and finish. It is an old case and it has been delayed for a long time,” she said.
The four accused are represented by Unoda Mack, Omphemetse Motumise, Tshiamo Motsumi and Mogakolodi Segwagwa.

The trial date was set for September 11th to 13th and the state said it will call 14 witnesses.

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