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BDF arson accused pleads not guilty

FRANCISTOWN: A case in which a female teacher allegedly torched Botswana Defence Force Barracks resumed yesterday, with the accused pleading not guilty.

The 31-year-old Bonno Ikanyeng set alight 25-roomed barracks at Area S camp housing in January 5, 2013. The barracks housed 100 soldiers.

The accused is a Guidance and Counselling teacher at Pandagala Junior Secondary School.

The cost of the burnt barracks is over P4 million. The first prosecution witness, Kgomotsego Kenosi, a soldier based at Area S told the court that he knew Bonno Ikanyeng since she was married to his cousin, David Ikanyeng. Kenosi said on January 4, 2013, he was with David Ikanyeng who told him that he was going home the next day in order to complete building his house.

Kenosi said that the next morning Bonno Ikanyeng came to his house asking for the keys to David Ikanyeng’s apartment, which he gave her around 9 am.

“She then asked me where David Ikanyeng was and I told her that he told me that he was going home to complete building his house.

“She left and later came and asked the same question. I told her what I had earlier told her, adding that I had not seen him since he left,” said Kenosi.

He said that after some time he left in his car to visit a neighbour. “As I passed by David Ikanyeng’s apartment, I heard sounds coming from his apartment as if something was burning inside the house.

“I then called her asking about the noise that was coming from her house. She said nothing much, but then quickly informed me that she was just speaking to David Ikanyeng over the phone,” said Kenosi. Kenosi revealed that he then drove away and found Bonno Ikanyeng by Sergeant Obadia Rantsimane’s house and overheard her telling him that she needed help.

He added that he only heard Bonno Ikanyeng asking for help from Rantsimane but

did not reveal the type of help she was asking from Rantsimane.

“She said that something was burning but I could not hear her clearly. I then saw smoke coming from her apartment.  “We then tried to open the door of her apartment and called personnel from the fire department. We continued to extinguish the fire until people from the fire department arrived,” said Kenosi. He added that no one was inside the apartment when the fire razed it down.

Under cross-examination from the defence counsel Kabelo Gaonyadiwe, Kenosi confirmed that he did not notice what was happening inside the house but only heard sounds coming from the apartment.

“I also did not properly hear what Kenosi Ikanyeng was saying to Rantsimane. She looked confused and she collapsed when I came near her,” said Kenosi.

The second prosecution witness, Rantsimane said that he was at his house during the day the barracks were burnt. He said that he went outside the house to get fresh air when he saw Bonno Ikanyeng coming to his place asking for help.

“I went inside the house to put on a shirt and she fell down when I asked her what help she was looking for. “We then put her on a stretcher and took her to the clinic. I then heard people saying that her apartment was on fire.

“I looked in the direction of her apartment and found that it was indeed burning,” said Rantsimane.

Rantsimane confirmed that he heard the accused asking for help but said nothing else other than that.

“I confirm that when the accused collapsed, she said nothing else save that she needed help which she did not elaborate,” said Rantsimane.

Mompoloki Gaboiphiwe from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) represented the state. The case continues.




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