Southern Regional Magistrate, Mokwadi Gabanagae, has acquitted five men who were facing charges of defrauding the National Food Technology Center of P383, 381,92. The acquittal was on grounds that the prosecution had shown no interest in prosecuting the matter.
The five accused are Monnye Seametso, Bakang Pitso, Tebogo Mpitsang , Emmanuel Ramolefe and Oaitse Dinake. Passing the judgment, Gabanagae said that since the start of the case after it was registered in his Court, the state prosecutor had failed to show up in Court on several occasions.
He said this had cost the accused persons as they had to pay their lawyers for appearances. His order for the five accused to be given witnesses statements to enable them prepare their defence was not complied with, Gabanagae said. No reasons were given for that as the prosecutor had failed to turn up.
The magistrate said failure to give the five accused witness statements on its own amounted to contempt of Court.
Given the prosecutor’s failure to attend court sessions, the regional magistrate said he saw no reason to deny the application by the accused persons’ lawyers for their acquittal and discharge as the prosecutor was not present to oppose the application.
He said all events surrounding the case showed that the state had no interest in seeing closure on the case. Gabanagae added that it was obvious the state had rushed to Court without making all necessary investigations into the matter.