FRANCISTOWN: An Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidate who lost during last year’s general elections in Francistown East, has pleaded not guilty to common assault and evicting her daughter from the family home.
The activist, Theresa Mmolawa, 56, is alleged to have poked her daughter Gosego Pumive Mmolawa, 36, in the forehead at their family home at Molapo Estates on February 10.
The state also alleges that Mmolawa on February 10, failed to obey a court order that was issued by Principal Magistrate Sijabuliso Siziba on January 15 prohibiting her from evicting Gosego from her Molapo Estates homestead.
Mmolawa pleaded not guilty before Senior Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu after the initial magistrate in the matter, Siziba, recused himself from the case. Siziba said he was recusing himself from the matter because he previously issued a court order barring Mmolawa from evicting her daughter.
“I am of the view that the accused may feel that I am biased against her,” Siziba said. Public prosecutor Alexander Phale told the court that the state will call two witnesses to testify in the matter and applied for trial dates to be set. Mmolawa produced a letter from Ndawana Attorneys who will represent her in the matter. Mulalu told Mmolawa to come with her attorney to court on today (Tuesday) to set trial dates.
Meanwhile, in another matter, the state has informed the Magistrate Court that law enforcement is close to nabbing two fugitive Zimbabwean suspects who are wanted in connection with allegedly shooting Julia Ookeditse to death at Borolong village on January 31.
State counsel Thapelo Mafishane said this on Friday when a suspect in the
“Investigations in the matter are still continuing. We have leads that may lead to the arrest of the two other suspects who are at large and we are also waiting for the forensic report from the police laboratory. We ask that the matter be called in 14 days,” said Mafishane. Masuku pleaded with police to expedite their investigations so that he could be tried within a reasonable time.
He said: “I did not know that I would be charged with murder when I was arrested. I pray that I may be tried within a short period of time. Also, the investigations officer should be called to answer to the court why he is taking so long to complete his investigations.” Mulalu set the matter for March 6 for status report. According to the police, the victim was with two male friends when an Isuzu bakkie they were travelling in stopped to give Masuku and his alleged accomplices a ride. Ookeditse was heavily pregnant at the time of the shooting. Masuku is also charged with stealing the Isuzu car, which belonged to Marumo Bahiti, on the same day of the murder.
In the last count Masuku is charged with entering Botswana illegally during a date unknown to the prosecution.
He did not deny the charge of entering Botswana illegally when asked by the magistrate.