Village magistrate Ephraith Ndegwa has convicted a South African national, Skhumbuzo Mlopsha, for the 2005 armed robbery which netted P5 million in foreign currencies for the robbers.
Convicting the armed robber, the magistrate said that the state has produced ample evidence to show that he was involved in the armed robbery. For instance, she said that Mlopsha, when interviewed by the South African Police after the armed robbery, named two other armed robbers with whom he carried out the armed robbery.
The two, Jeremiah Modise, a Botswana citizen, and South African Tebogo Mafisa, pleaded guilty to the armed robbery and are currently serving ten years imprisonment.
Ndegwa also said that during investigations into the case, Mlopsha was found with large amounts of foreign currency, whose origin he could not explain. Some of the money was found in Modise’s refrigerator in his Tlokweng home.
The magistrate further said that Mlopsha was the one who was driving the Mercedes Benz used during the armed robbery though it had been hired by Mafisa.
Mlopsha, who represented himself, will be sentenced on March 14 whilst Priscilla Israel of the Directorate of Public Prosecution was prosecuting.
Mlopsha has in the past made an application to the High Court claiming, amongst other things, that his constitutional right to a fair trial had been violated in that he had not been given materials he had asked for in order to prove his innocence.
Lobatse High Court judge Michael Leburu, however, dismissed the application, saying it has no merit then ordered the case to be heard in the Magistrate Courts.