Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Police officer, spouse want their P2 million embezzlement case quashed

Lobatse High Court judge, Issac Lesetedi, is on the 30 of April scheduled to hear prosecution and defence arguments in a marathon criminal case in which a Botswana Police Service inspector, David Williams, and his wife, Seonyana, want the case in which they are charged with embezzlement amounting to P2 million belonging to the government of Botswana, to be permanently stayed because the state has taken too long in prosecuting them.
This comes after the judge allowed the state to file their case out of time. Initially, the defence, led by Dingake Letsweletse of Modimo and Associates, had urged the judge not to allow the state to file after the time they were given to file had passed.

The state then argued that they had valid reasons of why they were not able to file on time such as the fact that other officers who were involved in the case were out of Gaborone attending to some pressing official duties.

On the second instance, they said that they were not able to file on time because they were still investigating allegations the defence had made in their affidavits that the accused persons’s witnesses cannot be traced or that they have since returned to their countries of origin.

The defence’s main argument in wanting the case to be permanently stayed is that, because the state had taken long in trying their case, they will not be able to defend themselves well because their witnesses have either left the country or cannot be traced.

They also submitted that the delay in prosecuting them was not in anyway their fault but that of the state and that they had attended all the Court sessions they were expected to attend and that in all those instances it was the former Magistrate Banyatsi Mmekwa who did not turn up as expected.

The delay in prosecuting them, they said, had greatly prejudiced them and turned them into paupers as they now stay in the sub urban area of Metsimotlhabe when they used to stay in the urban area of Gaborone, that their children who used to go to private schools driven in family cars now attend public schools and use public transport.
They also submitted that 10 of their cars which have been impounded by the police are now wearing out as they are kept in the open and are adversely affected by the weather.

They also submitted that they have lost a house in Gaborone because of failure to service its loan because their accounts have been frozen.

Mmekwa had apparently left for private practice before the completion of the case. After that, he was expected to continue with the case but for some unknown reasons that did not occur on several times even after the Deputy Master and Registrar of the Lobatse High Court, Nelson Bopa, had intervened and spoke to Mmekwa on the matter.

The state is in this matter represented by Frederick Mpopang of the Directorate of Public Prosecution.


Read this week's paper