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Minor implicated in gang murder

LEBOGANG MOSIKARE
FRANCISTOWN: In a rare and unusual incident, a 14-year-old boy appeared in court with four unemployed accomplices on a murder charge.

The minor is charged with Batisane Nthasaye, 35, Kesegofetse, Kesegofetse Bantu, 24, Mmasepatela Nthebolang, 30, and Goitsemodimo Pule, 23, for allegedly killing Thomson Bolekantse at Makobandolo lands near Shashemooke village in the Central District on November 1.

Prosecutor Evelyn Chalegwa applied for charges to be read out to the accused. Their pleas were reserved because investigations into the matter are at an initial stage.

Senior Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu explained that the state would secure attorneys for the accused once their case has been referred to the high court for trial. He added that he had no jurisdiction to put murder cases on trial.

“This does not however mean that the accused cannot look for their attorneys now before the case is transferred to the high court,” he added.

Mulalu further said the boy, who doesn’t attend school, should appear in his chambers alone since he is a minor. He explained that it would be a violation of the minor rights if he made an appearance in an open court with the co-accused persons.

He further said the

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minor should be released to his guardians who would be expected to ensure that the minor appears in court when required. The other four accused will be remanded in custody and appear for mention in court on November.

In another matter before Principal Magistrate Dumisani Basupi, trial dates have been set in a case in which police officer Atlholang Mojanki of Monarch location is accused of malicious damage to property.

The state has alleged that Mojanki burnt a Toyota Corolla belonging to Letsweletse Matome near Mmei Community Junior Secondary School April 21, 2012. The goods in the car, which are estimated to be worth more than P4,000, were destroyed in the inferno.

The 33-year-old Mojanki is also jointly charged with his fellow police girlfriend, Tshepho Queen Nlewa, 42, for the murder of the 28-year-old former nurse Bokani Sox, in January this year. Sox’s badly burnt corpse was found a few kilometers from the outskirts of Francistown. Prosecutor Tawana Kapongo and defence attorney Kabelo Gaonyadiwe agreed that the case be postponed to January 26 next year.



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