Beili Zhang is still behind bars though she was granted a cash bail on Wednesday last week by the Village Chief Magistrate, Linah Mokibe-Oahile. She was arrested on January 15 on suspicion that she was engaging in ivory trade illegally. It is alleged that she was found in possession of elephant tusks at Sir Seretse Khama Airport. She is also accused of importing elephant tusks to Botswana without authorisation. The prosecution did not oppose her bail application because she has stayed in Botswana for over 16 years and has businesses in the country.
In her affidavit, Zhang said she was never told as to why she was being detained at Molepolole Center of Illegal Immigrants. "After I arrived at the police station, I was made to wait in the hallway, and was not told exactly what I was waiting for. A few minutes later, I was informed by one of the police officers at the station, that Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) wants to take me to Molepolole.
The police officer then asked me where my resident permit was, and I told her that it was in my passport, which was in their possession," Zhang said. She said she was never told by the officers what she was being detained for or given any documentation justifying her incarceration. She stated that her attorneys have written a letter to the director of DIS, Isaac Kgosi demanding her release, but that has not borne fruit. The case has been moved to the High Court where Zhang is seeking her immediate release. She will appear before Justice Singh Walia of the High Court on February 13.