It was all smiles for two Gaborone Central Police Station policemen, Gilbert Matsiara and Kabelo Kelentse, after outgoing Gaborone Principal Magistrate, Enoch Mazonde, acquitted and discharged them from two counts of having obtained money from Charl Howard in order not to register a complainant of “unnatural offence” against him.
Dismissing the charges, Mazonde says that the prosecution had in all accounts failed to prove its case against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt.
In the first account in which the officers are alleged to have collected the sum of P1000 from Howard, Mazonde said that there was no independent evidence of this.
This, he said, was so because Howard claimed that he had, during the transaction which he told the Court had taken place at Food Mart where he works, recorded the conversation that took place during the transaction with a cellphone recorder, he failed to produce that recorder in Court saying that it was later stolen.
Besides that Mazonde said that Maphange, to whom Howard claimed to have later played back the recorder, was not called to verify this claim in Court.
The magistrate also said that it does not make much sense that no independent witness was called by Howard to observe the transaction which had allegedly taken place inside the supermarket though at any given time, there are always people either customers or workers in the supermarket.
Howard, the Magistrate said, was not a credible and honest witness and added that he could have had reasons to implicate the accused persons because he had said that he had felt abused and was angry.
The second account was about corruptly receiving P500 from Howard for the same reason of not opening a case of “unnatural offence” against Howard.
Mazonde said that after Howard had mustered the courage to report the matter to the police and money had been photocopied by the police and photographers had set up, it appeared to be an air tight case. But things did not go well. Mazonde said while Howard claimed that the accused persons knew that they were going to receive payments, the first accused, Matsiara, said they did not know what Howard wanted them in connection with and asked Howard that they discuss the issue on the phone but that they had finally met in a car. Mazonde said that police took photographs of the activities that took place but that the officer who did so confessed that he did not know exactly what took place inside the car.
Finally Mazonde said that it is Howard who knows why he wanted to incriminate the accused persons in that he had, under cross examination by the accused’s lawyer, Tebogo Sebego, said that he had felt abused and was angry as he was unfairly treated which he said was all enough to motivate someone to incriminate someone.