Lobatse High Court judge Gabriel Rwelengera is on the 2nd of December expected to hear a case in which two Zimbabwean nationals and a South African are facing multiple charges of murder, assault and armed robbery.
The trio, Zimbabweans Phineas Dube and Thulani Masina, together with Sibusiso Sibanda, a South African, are accused of murdering Petros Solomon Du Plessis of South Africa on August 6 2007 in Oodi.
They are also alleged to have attempted to murder Colleen Anna Duplessis and violently robbed her of a cell phone valued at P3000.
On yet another charge, the three are alleged to have robbed Simbarashe Mude of a cell phone valued at P300 and threatened to shoot him with the guns they had. They are also charged with unlawful possession of 9 rounds of ammunition, a revolver and pistol without a license.
Their trial brings to five the total number of Zimbabweans and one South African facing violent murder trials in Botswana.
The other three Zimbabweans who are facing murder trials are Hluphekile Dube, a maid whom the state alleges informed her home boys, Abel Nyasa and Issac Ngoma, that her former boss was leaving the country and was in possession of a lot of money. The trio then forged a plan to rob the Indian old man, in the process strangling him and stealing both local and foreign currency from him. However, they were quickly arrested afterwards. Ngoma has since turned state witness.
Currently another Zimbabwean Gerald Dube is awaiting execution in Gaborone Maximum Prison after he lost his appeal in July. His lawyer, Ookeditse Maphakwane, has applied to the clemency board on his behalf but observers say that nothing is likely to come out of that as there are doubts on whether such a board even seats to consider such cases at all.
Dube was found guilty of murdering a former Francistown lawyer, her two children and a maid both of whom were Zimbabweans.