Sunday, April 5, 2020

Murder accused engages magistrate in verbal sparring session

Ikaneng Radikgokong, 22, of Nkaikela Ward in Tlokweng on Thursday stunned the Extension II magistrate court when he argued with senior magistrate, Kofi Acquah-Dadzie, over court procedure.

Radikgokong, who appeared for mention on murder charges, demanded through the magistrate that he be given statements made by state witnesses for perusal and study before the setting of trial dates, adding that the prosecution had taken a long time to oblige.

The magistrate, however, brushed aside his demands on the grounds that such demands were purely the duty of his attorneys.

“It is not your duty to demand the statements. Your attorneys are the ones responsible to demand such,” the magistrate advised.

Radikgokong, however, could not take kindly to the advise given arguing that the court was “misdirected” and was trampling on his fundamental rights.

“It is my right to have such statements. It is unprocedural to deny me the statements,” he argued.

The two argued over procedure for some time with Acquah-Dadzie reminding Radikgokong that he could not teach him court procedure.

He told the accused that the statements could only be given to unrepresented accused persons.
When an accused is represented, the magistrate said, it would be unprocedural for the court to grant order for the prosecution to give the statements. “It is thus unprocedural for this court to give you the statements since you are represented.”
Radikgokong, who could not believe his ears, remained in the dock momentarily before telling the magistrate that he was “not pleased and satisfied with the court’s decision.”

He was, however, advised to appeal to the High Court.

Radikgokong, who is out on bail, is accused of murdering Keletso Mokano in Tlokweng on December 21, 2004.

The case was postponed to May 15, 2007 when the trial dates would be decided.

In another case, a man from Moshupa, Thapelo Keiphetlhetswe, 25, charged with failing to maintain his child, escaped prison by a whisker but for skipping dates of mention.

Magistrate Acquah-Dadzie warned him never to skip the mention and trial dates if he were serious about “seeing the light of the day.”

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