Friday, September 25, 2020

Three-year-old fraud case finally scheduled for hearing

The trial in which a member of the Botswana Police Service, David Williams, and his wife, Seonyana, are facing charges of defrauding the government of Botswana of over P2 million is penciled in for mention on May 6, 2007 after a three-year adjournment.

Former Principal Magistrate presiding over the case, Banyatsi Mmekwa, caused the lengthy adjournment when he left the bench for private prosecution.
The new date was confirmed by former Gaborone Chief Magistrate and current Deputy Registrar and Master of the Lobatse High Court, Nelson Bopa.
”I confirm that I have met the parties and have agreed that it should come up for mention on May 6,” he said.

Bopa got involved with the case after he was assigned the by Registrar and Master of the Lobatse High Court, Godfrey Nthomiwa, to intervene and end the stalemate in the matter. The stalemate resulted after Mmekwa had apparently refused to go back and continue with the case for unspecified reasons. This saw former Gaborone Chief Magistrate Takura Charumbira referring the case to the High Court for direction on what to do with the case.

Williams is alleged to have defrauded the government whilst he was attached to the Ministry of Finance. His nephews have since told the court that they have also benefited from the money as they were on several occasions told to go and withdraw some money which had been deposited by their uncle and to leave some of the money in their bank accounts for their use.

Both nephews also work as police officers and were brought into the case as accomplice witnesses.
Other police officers told the court about large amounts of money deposited in their accounts then suddenly withdrawn.

Legal observers have expressed fears that if the stalemate continues, the accused persons could ask their lawyer to apply for permanent stay of prosecution because of the failure to prosecute within reasonable time. Williams and his wife are currently out on bail and are represented by Abel Modimo, whilst Bafi Nlanda is representing the state.

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