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Witness absconds proceedings to do farming

LEBOGANG BAINGAPI
JWANENG: A State witness, Keitsile Matswiri nearly landed in trouble yesterday when he told the Magistrate court that he missed court proceedings because he was busy at his farm.

With a smile, the 20-year-old told Magistrate Segametsi Basinyi that his farm was the only source of income and therefore would not waste time in court neglecting his livestock.

However, the magistrate who was not amused warned him that it was not a joke and he could be locked up in jail until the case was dealt with.

It emerged that the witness has previously refused to come and give evidence before court but later changed his mind after he was warned about the consequences. 

He was to give evidence in a case where 29 year old Lechedzani Gobonwang is accused of drunken driving.  Meanwhile Matswiri testified that on October 7, 2014 he saw the accused person skidding a car in front of his tuckshop in Jwaneng.

He said the accused bounded out and bought a cigarette before getting into the car and skidding again, in the process, hitting his tuckshop.

He revealed that money and sweets were scattered all

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over.  He however said he could not smell alcohol on the accused.  When it was his turn,  the accused Gobonwang dismissed the prosecution‘s evidence as null and void and not credible before court.

He said the state omitted some important aspects in their investigations and called on further investigations to be carried out.

The 29-year-old Gobonwang is facing a single count of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol that was beyond the prescribed limit.

His alcohol measure was 0.78mg in 1,000ml contrary to the prescribed 0.22mg in 1,000ml.  In his mitigation, the accused pleaded with the court to be lenient on him and not revoke his licence as he solely survives through it.

He further said he is the family‘s bread winner.

The prosecution however could not produce a record of the accused’s previous convictions, but soon applied for him to be taken as a first offender.  He will appear again for sentencing today.



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