Saturday, June 15, 2024

Man awaits trial for five years in prison

A suspected car-jacker who has been awaiting trial for five years behind bars lost patience on Thursday and threw tantrums at the presiding Magistrate Nelson Bopa.

Sibi Kgomotso, the family bread winner who could not bury his mother because she died while he was still awaiting trial, lashed out at former Gaborone Chief Magistrate and current Assistant Master and registrar of the High Court for dragging his case.
Speaking from the dock, Kgomotso said he was angry that the case had been postponed several times on the grounds that Bopa was attending to ?urgent? official matters in the Lobatse High Court.

?I think you just feel that I am a prisoner and, therefore, have no rights,? Kgomotso said angrily. He also lamented that for five years, he has been in prison awaiting the outcome of the trial which he said was very hurting on his side because his mother had passed away whilst he was in prison.

?As my mother has passed away, I am now expected to be the bread winner for my siblings but I can not because I am here in prison awaiting the outcome of my trial.?

Kgomotso further said that it was disturbing to find out that their trial would not be coming to a conclusion soon as they had expected owing to Bopa juggling two jobs as both Deputy Registrar of the High Court and as a Magistrate.

? I wonder if keeping two jobs is in line with the laws of Botswana and also wonder why the Chief Justice, Julian Nganunu, is allowing you to keep two jobs,? he said.

For his part, Bopa, who had been quietly taking notes whilst Kgomotso was addressing the Court, admitted that the case had taken longer than was expected and that he was also anxious to see the case reaching its conclusion.

Bopa said that he hoped this would happen next week on March 23.

Bopa said that he believed the recent appointment of former Gaborone Chief Magistrate, Takura Charumbira, to the post of Assistant Master and Registrar of the Lobatse High Court would give him the opportunity to return to the Magistrate Court and finish all his pending cases.

Kgomotso and four other accused persons are facing charges of having hijacked several luxury cars in Gaborone and later selling them outside the country in early 2000.


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