Sunday, September 27, 2020

Luxury cars hijacking gang told they have a case to answer

Five men who have been accused of hijacking luxury German cars at gunpoint in Gaborone were last week told that they have a case to answer.

Former Gaborone Chief Magistrate and current Deputy Master and Registrar of the Lobatse High Court, Nelson Bopa, on Friday ruled that the five men facing nine counts of luxury cars hijacking in and around Gaborone in early 2000 have a case to answer.

The five are Thabo Abdul Lekwai, Ikgopoleng Kwelagano, and Kingston Mmolawa. The five are currently on bail while Thami Lebanna and Sibi Kgomotso are behind bars.

Passing the ruling, Bopa said he had analyzed the evidence brought before the Court by the state which had called several witnesses and came up with the ruling that the accused persons had a case to answer.

He said the accused persons? only defence was on the credibility of state witnesses.

After the ruling, he asked the accused persons if they intended calling witnesses and they all answered in the affirmative and indicated that they would be calling 40 witnesses in all.

The five accused persons are alleged to have stolen Mercedes Benzes and BMWs at gunpoint at restaurants, parking malls and owners? homes.

In one brazen attack, a victim told the court how the hijackers barged in on him and a friend while they were dining at a local restaurant and demanded keys to their cars and wallets at gunpoint.

In another incident, a woman told the court that she had just knocked off from her workplace at Riverwalk shopping complex and was just about to open the door of her BMW when the gang pointed a gun at her head and took away her car.

The case has in the past been postponed several times on grounds that Bopa was attending to some duties at the High Court where he is currently working as Deputy Master and Registrar.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.