Mmegi Online :: Police officer sues commissioner for malicious prosecution
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Last Updated
Friday 22 June 2018, 06:00 am.
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Police officer sues commissioner for malicious prosecution

FRANCISTOWN: A Botswana Police Service (BPS) assistant superintendent is suing the commissioner of police for P392,000 for malicious prosecution.
By Kesone Nkaelang Lebogang Mosikare Wed 06 Dec 2017, 17:38 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Police officer sues commissioner for malicious prosecution








The lawsuit is in relation to two counts that the applicant, Thembela Mapini (43), was alleged to have committed in April 2013. Mapini was later acquitted of the charges.

In the first count, Mapini was charged with stealing by person employed in the public service. The state alleged that on April 1, 2013, Mapini whilst employed as a police officer stole 70 litres of petrol valued at P674.10 being state property that came into his possession by virtue of his employment.

In the second count, Mapini was charged with going armed in the public with a gun. The state alleged that on April 3, 2013, Mapini without lawful cause went to the Gerald Police Station armed with a loaded firearm.

The charge sheet said the manner in which he acted had the potential of causing terror to other police officers who were in the Community Service Centre (CSC). When led by his attorney Tshekiso Tshekiso on Monday, Mapini contended that the charges against him were malicious because he was cleared by the lower court of having not committed any criminal activity as the police had alleged. He said the state never satisfied itself that the petrol found in his possession was stolen or not.

He added that had the police bothered to ask him about the petrol, he was going to produce receipts showing that he bought the petrol at Marang and Naledi Motors Filling stations respectively. “The police never asked me where I bought the petrol.  I had bought

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the petrol because I was going to use it at my brother’s wedding at Zwenshambe. During that time there was a lot of electricity load shedding hence I bought the petrol as a contingency measure,” said Mapini. In relation to the second count, Mapini said he discovered that his firearm license had expired when he was about to go to Zwenshambe for his brother’s wedding.

“I discovered that my firearm license had expired on December 2012. So I took the gun to the police station to renew its license. I was going to use the gun to shoot a beast at my brother’s wedding. When I went to the police station the gun was in its pouch. There is no way it can be said I caused terror to anyone since I was handling the gun properly,” said Mapini.

Mapini wants the state to pay him P42,000 that he used to pay for his legal fees and P350,000 for the emotional pain, humiliation and loss of dignity he endured as a result of the charges. Under cross-examination from counsel Momphi Senau from the Attorney General, Mapini said Inspector Simisane Zhibi told him that he was suspected of stealing petrol at Kutlwano Police station.

“I was on leave when Zhibi told me about that. I first became aware of the allegations on April 1, 2013. I dispute that I was not interviewed on April 1 because I ran away,” said Mapini. The case continues before Justice Bashi Moesi.

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