Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Magistrate warns prosecution over G4S heist case

Broadhurst Magistrate Tonoki Gaseitsiwe has warned the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to refrain from using defective charge sheets.

The warning relates to the prosecution of accused persons in an alleged P2 million armed robbery case at Mogoditshane. 

In their first appearance on the case in which G4S Security vehicle was allegedly robbed of over P2 million at gun point, the DPP has been warned about a defective charge sheet intended to be used to prosecute the four accused persons.

The four accused persons are Mothusi Motomela, Thapelo Lekobe, Mzwandile Mazibuko and Elliot Ntshalintshali – all charged with armed robbery, unlawful possession of ammunition and entering Botswana through ungazzetted point of entry. 

The magistrate warned DPP about the danger of a defective charge sheet especially that the particulars of the offence were contradictive.

“The particulars of offense does not state or disclose who owns what? Court 1, does not state who owns the rifles and money. I’m just alerting you on that” said Gaseitsiwe.

The count one says the four accused persons and another not before court on the 13th October 2021 at Turn Right Mall along Gabane Road in Kweneng District acting together and in consent armed with pistols and rifles robbed G4S Security Company cash amounting to P2 310, 000.00 an AK 47 rifle of serial number 235 722 37 30 and Pistol Type 54 of serial number 124 330 0563 0330.

The particulars further state that immediately before stealing the said money and firearms, they threatened Gabriel Shiko and Ditiro Modisane who are employees of G4S security and Khube Molwane and Gotsetswemang Mokhutshwe of Botswana Police Service with a pistol and a rifle in order to obtain or retain the stolen money and guns. 

Defense Lawyer Mike Rasetshwane intervened and argued that the magistrate is being unfair by alleging the DPP of their shoddy work/or defective charge sheet.

“The duty of this court is to manage what is before it. I cannot continue with a defective charge sheet,” said Gaseitsewe.

Magistrate Gaseitsewe’s reactions came after State Prosecutor Farayi Mahwite told the court that the accused persons participated and walked away with money amounting to P2 310,000.00(Two Million Three Hundred and Ten thousand Pula of which P2 210,000.00(Two Million Two Hundred and Ten Pula thousand was recovered.

Mahwite agreed with the magistrate’s advice and promised to amend the charge sheet.

He then requested for a plea to be reserved and a charge sheet be read to the accused persons of which accused number 1 and 2 (all Batswana) agreed to speak English and Setswana respectively and accused 3 and 4 who are South Africans opted to speak Zulu. 

The State Prosecutor then requested for the accused to be remanded for the next 14 days to allow the state to complete investigations.

Defence layer Rasetshwane who was holding briefly for Unoda Mack and Patrick Sepego did not oppose the request but made a submissions to be allowed to consult with his clients arguing that he was not granted an opportunity to talk to them early in the morning.

The matter is scheduled for 29 October 2021 for mention and bail applications.

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