Francistown Chief Magistrate, Mokwadi Gabanagae, last week postponed a case involving Mbusi Phatshwane, a Francistown man who is facing a single count of unlawful possession of 14 rough diamonds.
The Magistrate postponed the case after the defence counsel in the matter, Owen Nsala, of Francistown-based law firm, MCM Moseki Attorneys, pleaded with court to afford them a chance to assess the evidence by one of the state witnesses as they were never availed the statement well in time.
Nsala lambasted the prosecution saying that they were introducing the witness as a way of ambushing the case. Nsala added that if the case continued, it would be unfair on their side as they were never afforded the chance to study the new witness statements.
However, the Magistrate called on both lawyers to work hard on the matter, as the case has been hanging for many years.
“I will give the defense the opportunity to study the evidence by the state witness, but I want to plead with both the prosecution and the defence to try and speed up the case as it is a 2006 case,” he concluded.
According to the charge sheet, on the 8th of December in 2006, Phatshwane was arrested near Galo Centre in Francistown after the police were tipped by the public that he was in possession of rough diamonds. After his arrest, the stones were taken to the department of Geological Survey in Gaborone were they were tested and were found to be diamonds valued at P 2 005.00.
The accused is currently on bail and the case will resume on the 27 of April this year.
The state is represented by Kenneth Dick from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).