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Modenga detained on fraud charges

PINI BOTHOKO
Modenga casting a vote during the BDP 37th national congress PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Former Francistown deputy mayor, Lechedzani Modenga has been detained after been arrested while attending the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) congress on Saturday on four more charges of obtaining by false pretences.

The councillor for Moselewapula ward appeared before Broadhurst Magistrate Lilian Madabane.

It is alleged that he currently has three pending cases of obtaining by false pretences before Francistown magistrate court.

Madabane disclosed that on March 23 and May 8 at Phakalane, Modenga pretended to be an employee of the Department of Road Transport and Safety (DRTS) in order to obtain P1,400 from Talent Chepanda claiming that his vehicle had defects.

She said in the second count, Modenga defrauded the same Talent Chepanda of P1,400 also pretending that his truck had defects.

On the third count, it is alleged that on May 18, 2017 still in Gaborone, Modenga obtained money amounting to P1,350 from Mmoniemang Motsamai pretending to be an employee of the DRTS and claiming that he was going to book a road test for his son knowing that it was not true.  In the fourth count, Modenga is also accused of defrauding the same Motsamai of clothes worth P6,800 on May 18, 2017 pretending that he was going to sell them on her behalf to his colleagues.

Giving evidence on this matter the investigating officer (IO) Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo pleaded with the court not to give Modenga bail because he was not cooperative throughout the investigations. He said being a public figure, he did not want to arrest and escort Modenga to a police station but instead,  pleaded with him several times to avail himself before Broadhurst police station, but he

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failed to turn up after several promises.

Eventually they arrested him last Saturday at the BDP congress in Tonota on Saturday.He told court that the accused defrauded Chepanda claiming to be an officer and using the wrong name of Mpho Ntwayagae, but managed to trace him through his mobile phone that he gave to both complainants.

“I phoned him (Ntwayagae) and when answering I heard Modenga’s voice and asked if he was not Modenga and he said no stressing to be Ntwayagae. Despite knowing Modenga as a public figure, I am from Ramokgwebana village and Modenga is from Moroka village located few kilometres apart. I phoned him several times pleading with him to come to Broadhurst police but he failed to do so,” Marapo said. He told the court that the accused has pending cases of similar offences that he committed since 2015 fearing that if he was released he will continue to defraud people.

“It appears that the accused has a bad record of defrauding people. I pray this court for him to be remanded in custody because he is also someone who cannot be trusted and hard to locate. We have tried several times to locate him to no avail until we received a tip off that he was attending BDP congress this past weekend,” Marapo said. Modenga will be cooling his heels in the slammer until Thursday when he will appear on Thursday for bail ruling.



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