Mmegi Online :: Corruption allegations against council employee dismissed
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Last Updated
Wednesday 21 November 2018, 11:38 am.
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Corruption allegations against council employee dismissed

FRANCISTOWN: The corruption allegations levelled against former Francistown City Council (FCC) employee, Judith Ragalase, were dismissed after substantive prosecutor in the matter failed to appear before Chief Magistrate Gaedupe Makgatho on Thursday.
By Lebogang Mosikare Fri 21 Nov 2014, 14:50 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Corruption allegations against council employee dismissed








Gaedupe said that it was not the first time that the substantive prosecutor in the case failed to appear before the court without giving valid reasons for her absence.

The state alleged that Ragalase, 51, abused the authority of her office knowingly by directing Gaabadzo Molapo, a Senior Administrator to procure peanut butter and jam from Flavia Investment (Pty) Ltd.  Flavia never won the tender to supply the above-mentioned goods. The state further alleged that Ragalase knew that such food commodities were recalled and not purchased and said the proposition by the accused was at the expense of the FCC. 

The defence attorney, Maliki Mmohe submitted for the charge against his client to be dismissed because the state is not giving the matter the seriousness it deserves. He said the conduct of the prosecution is undesirable because the image of his client has already been damaged by a press release from the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime that appeared in the Botswana Guardian last week.

According to the press release the accused has allegedly been found guilty of the charge.

“It is surprising that while trial has not even

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commenced in court due to the continuing habit of the failure by prosecution to appear without giving concrete reasons for their conduct, they run to newspapers and say that my client has been found guilty by this honourable court,” said Mmohe.

However, Tebogo Masala from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, who appeared without any instructions from the substantive prosecutor, tried in vain for the charge not to be dismissed.

“I opposed that the matter should be dismissed because there are avenues that the court can pursue to make sure that the substantive prosecutor appears in court.  She can be subpoenaed to appear before the court,” said Masala.

At that point Makgatho told Masala that he had already taken a decision to dismiss the case because the attitude of the prosecution in the matter left a lot to be desired and cannot be condoned.

“Our courts should not be helpless in this type of matter.  A recent high court ruling supporting my decision will be availed to the prosecution.  I therefore dismiss this matter for want of prosecution,” said Makgatho. Ragalase was employed as acting Principal Education Secretary.

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