Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Matome granted bail

Lobatse High Court judge, Stephen Gaongalelwe, on Friday granted former Debswana Company Secretary, Joseph Matome, bail pending appeal but reserved reasons for his decision.

This follows after several attempts to get bail in the past had failed on grounds that the case record was still being typed at the Magistrate Court.

Matome was a month ago sentenced to three years imprisonment for fraud and corruption in regard to the acquisition of a plot of land in Gaborone North.

His co-accused in the matter, Garvas Nchindo, got away with a suspended sentence whilst Nchindo family companies, Golconda and Tourism Development Trust, were fined as the court said they were used to illegally acquire the land.

The State had been opposed to Matome being granted bail on grounds that, among others, there was no prospect that he would win at appeal.

The defence, on the other hand, submitted that Matome should be given bail pending appeal as there are good prospects that he might win the case at appeal. The defence is of the opinion that there is enough evidence showing that the judgement, which was passed by former Southern Regional Magistrate Lot Moroka, was flawed.

Matome recently resigned from his position as Chairman of the Kalahari Conservation Society.
Last week, Nchindo filed an appeal in the High Court in which he, amongst other things, states that Moroka had erred in finding that the presentation to former president Festus Mogae in 2000 contained false information as alleged in Counts 1 and 2.

Nchindo said that Moroka had further erred in finding that Matome gave false information to former president Mogae as Mogae could not remember if Matome was present during the presentation, saying that he could only remember seeing some white gentlemen at the presentation.

He further said that the state did not call Jeff Hogg, who was listed as a state witness and was not flown into the country as he could have given evidence in the case.
No dates have been set for the appeal hearing.


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