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No festive season for White City rape, murder suspect

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Suspected White City murderer, Aplee Mogotsi will spend the Christmas and New Year holidays behind bars after the Extension II Magistrate, Batho Kgerethwa dismissed his bail application.

Thirty-year-old Mogotsi is suspected to have raped and killed a nine-year-old girl in November at White City in Gaborone.

On Thursday, Mogotsi pleaded with the court to grant him bail.

“It's my second mention that the prosecution has been saying the same thing about investigations still ongoing. I stand to be advised but I humbly request for bail. I am also wondering what is taking so long to investigate,” said Mogotsi.

However, prosecution's assistant Supt. Tlotlang Balathwa of the Botswana Police Service (Prosecution Unit) said the accused should not be granted bail because their investigations are not complete. He said they are awaiting post-mortem results. Balathwa said the accused could not be granted bail because he faces a serious offence of murder.

“Murder is a very serious offences ,which involves a lot of stakeholders for evidence to be gathered. A pathologist was involved to do the post-mortem of the deceased. The accused must bear in mind that we have lots of murder cases, which this pathologist has to attend to and has attended before this case. He needs time to compile his reports,” said Balathwa.

He said the accused should have patience because he has only appeared in court three times whilst in most cases murder investigations could take between 12 and 18 months before completion.

Moreover, he said they are concerned for the accused’s safety because the incident and the way the young girl was killed has infuriated members of the community who could take the law into their own hands.

He said members of the community, including legislators, were traumatised by the incident as evidenced by comments

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on both the social media and television.

“When we are ready, we will inform the court and the accused will be committed to the High Court for trial,” he added.

In reply, the visibly teary and unsettled Mogotsi said he understood perfectly the concerns of the prosecution about his safety. However, he said the court could grant him bail and make an order that he should not be anywhere near the location where the incident happened.

Magistrate Kgerethwa denied the accused bail on the basis that police investigations were still ongoing. The magistrate said the accused could, however, move his application in the next mention when police would have updated the court on the progress of their investigations. The magistrate’s ruling meant that the accused will not enjoy the festive season with his family and friends.

“The prosecution should avail the investigating officer to give the court an update on the progress of the investigations and tell the court if the accused could be granted bail,” she said.

According to the police, there are suspicions that the girl was raped before being killed, as disturbing injuries were found on her body. It is said the child was missing before her lifeless body in its blood-soaked clothes was found in the street near her home.

The incident infuriated White City residents who wanted to take law into their own hands by meting out instant justice. However, the police drove their car into the suspect’s yard and managed to scurry the suspect to safety.  The suspect has been ordered to appear in court on January 4, 2018.



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