Francistown Magistrate Thebeitsile Mulalu last week struck off a P4 million fraud case from the court roll after failure by the prosecution to serve the defense attorneys in the matter with audit reports as evidence.
The case involves three Francistown men, Tiro Gaylards Masimege, Mothusi Mmolawa and Bathusi Moloi, who are alleged to have defrauded Panda Group of Companies in Francistown of a sum amounting to P4 million between June 2008 and October 2010.
It is alleged that the trio connived together in selling the products of the company on the pretence that the money was being paid into the Panda Group of Companies account, while the money was being paid into their own accounts.
However, the Magistrate made the decision after the defense lawyers in the matter, Moabi Madandume and Wada Nfila, had pleaded with court to strike off the matter as there was no progress. The defense attorneys had brought to the court’s attention that the delay by the prosecution in the matter prejudices their clients, saying it was a waste of resources and time.
“I pray to court that the matter be struck off; the prosecution can reinstate the case if they feel so,” said one of the defense lawyers, Wada Nfila.
Mulalu ruled in favour of the defense, saying that the state has been dragging its feet in furnishing the defense with the required documents as per court order. He went on to blast the prosecution saying that it shows their lack of seriousness in the case.
“There is no valid reason why the defense cannot be furnished with the documents. The case has been in court three times and there is still no progress, therefore, the matter will be struck off,” he said.
The prosecution could not establish if they will reinstate the matter or not, as the substantive prosecutor, Antoneitte Kula, was said to be on leave.
The state was represented by Careb Mbenda from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
Madandume represents the first accused while the third accused is represented by Wada Nfila. The second accused is not represented and the three men are all out on bail.