Last Updated
Thursday 20 November 2014, 11:45 am.
Former BDF deputy commander found guilty

*Both drivers refused to provide breath specimen
*Accused persons opted to remain silent
The Broadhurst Magistrates Court has convicted former deputy commander of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo on three counts he was slapped with over two years ago.
By Staff Writer Sat 22 Nov 2014, 01:59 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Former BDF deputy commander found guilty








Tiroyamodimo was charged with driving a motor vehicle whilst unfit to drive through drinks or drugs contrary to Section 46 (2) of the Road Traffic Act. On Count 2, failure to provide breath specimen, contrary to Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act and Count three: Giving false information to a person employed in the public service, contrary to Section 131 of the Penal Code.

His co-accused, attorney Temperance Ketshabile, was convicted on a single count of giving false information to a person employed in the public service.

The charges emanated from a collision that occurred on the night of August 6th, 2010 in front of the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks in Mogoditshane. After several testimonies from eyewitnesses, the court confirmed that Tiroyamodimo was the driver of a Toyota Landcruiser that collided with a Toyota Hilux, though he denied it.

A witness who was driving behind the Hilux, Samuel Badukanye, told the court that the Landcruiser turned without indicating, consequently hitting the Hilux. He said after the accident, a short man came out of the Landcruiser's passenger side, whilst the driver remained inside for a moment.

"A tall man then got out of the driver's side of the Landcruiser. He was holding and drinking from a glass, which was half full. It was yellowish/brownish with white foam," the witness said referring to Tiroyamodimo.

The court learned that when the police made enquiries on who the drivers of the vehicles were, only Gaebewe Ramolemana identified himself as the driver of the Hilux, whilst nobody came forward as the driver of the Landcruiser. He said that the witnesses at the scene told the police that the driver and owner of the Landcruiser was "our Lord" referring to Tiroyamodimo.

"When the police officer admonished the first accused for being the driver of the Landcruiser, yet failing to identify himself, he responded 'yes, what is your problem'?" the witness told the court.

Both the drivers were taken to Mogoditshane Police Station where they both refused to provide breath specimens.
Badukanye made a statement to the police whilst Tiroyamodimo did not, preferring to do so at a later date. A few days later Ketshabile showed up and told the police that he was the driver of the Landcruiser that was involved in the accident.

Ramolemana, who had earlier told the police (statement) that he knew Tiroyamodimo from Serowe, and that they both attended school at Swaneng, later told the court that it was Ketshabile who was driving the Landcruiser, since he saw Tiroyamodimo alight from the passenger's side. He testimony was in contrast to two other witnesses who identified Tiroyamodimo as the driver of the Landcruiser.

Magistrate Gennai Jansen said that the State has proven beyond reasonable doubt that Tiroyamodimo was the driver of the Landcruiser, and that Ketshabile's identification of himself as the driver was an afterthought.

"He did so long after the Police had established the drivers' identities. He was even present outside the police traffic office on the very night of the accident and he never identified himself as the driver.

"In addition, the first accused never denied he was the driver of the Landcruiser whilst being interviewed at the police station. If he had not been the driver he would have clarified this at the first opportunity," argued the magistrate.

The magistrate stated that Ketshabile who is Tiroyamodimo's long time friend, saw his friend being taken to the Police Station in a police van, while he was outside the office during Triyamodimo's interview yet he remained silent.

She also found no excuse in the accused person refusing to provide a breath specimen and this attested the police comments that the two smelled of alcohol, and that Tiroyamodimo was staggering and unfit to drive.

The accused opted to remain silent. Triyamodimo was convicted on the three counts, whilst Ketshabile was convicted on one count of giving false information to a person employed in the public service. Their sentencing is scheduled for next month.  Morebodi Tladi of the DPP was prosecuting.



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