One of the state security men convicted in the John Kalafatis murder case has been released on bail pending appeal.
Military Intelligence officer Dzikamani Mothobi was freed from prison yesterday by Justice David Newman. His case is likely to be heard in the January session of the Court of Appeal. Mothobi was convicted of being an accessory after the murder fact in the Kalafatis case while his colleagues, Goitshosamang Sechele, Ronny Matako, Boitshoko Maifala were found guilty of murder with extenuating circumstances.
When his application for bail came before Newman, the state moved for a postponement on the basis that it did not have enough time to peruse the typed case record and judgement. The prosecutor Mpho Letsoalo said that it is a common practice at the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) that after the completion of a case, they send the record to the police station handling the matter. However, Newman said it would be prejudicial to keep Mothobi in prison, as there are possibilities that he might have served his sentence by the time the January session of Court of Appeal begins. He said the other three convicts are currently serving lengthier sentences and as such they would not suffer any prejudice.
Newman convicted the four security operatives of the murder of John Kalafatis in June. He sentenced Sechele, Matako and Maifala to 11 years behind bars while Mothobi got four years, three of which were suspended for three years on condition he does not commit any offence.
Sechele, Matako and Maifala have been convicted of murder, but escaped the hangman's noose after Newman found that there were extenuating circumstances that reduced their moral blameworthiness when committing the crime.
Mothobi was convicted of being an accessory after the fact of murder after it was found that he actively participated in the measures taken to cover up the transgressions of his colleagues, following the shooting of Kalafatis.
Meanwhile, some security operatives obstructed photojournalists from taking pictures of their convicted colleagues yesterday.