The Monitor :: Suspected Arsonist, Murderer Denied Bail
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Tuesday 13 November 2018, 16:21 pm.
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Suspected Arsonist, Murderer Denied Bail

FRANCISTOWN: The High Court recently dismissed an application for bail pending trial for a man charged with the murder of his girlfriend.
By Lebogang Mosikare Mon 15 Jan 2018, 17:11 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Suspected Arsonist, Murderer Denied Bail








The accused, Ditsaone Ramonnye appeared before Justice Bashi Moesi applying for bail on grounds that the State harboured no fear that he would abscond or interfere with the prosecution witnesses should he be given bail and that he was must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Moesi said: “The court dismissed the application on December 5, 2017 and intimated that the reasons will be provided later…There might be merit in this application taking into account the grounds advanced had there been a response from the applicant to the strong opposition put forth by the respondent”.

As a basis for its opposition to the application, Moesi said, the respondent had filed the affidavit of one sub-Inspector C. Matshubute who described himself as the investigating officer in the main (murder) case.

“Matshubute said some time on or about February 12, 2015, the applicant’s girlfriend Elizabeth Moatshe fled from the applicant at Kudumatse village because the latter threatened her life. As a result of Moatshe’s flight, the applicant set fire to Moatshe’s mother’s house. The fire destroyed property valued over P37,000,” Moesi said.

The fire incident, Moesi stated, was reported to the police on February 12, 2015.

He added: “The applicant was arrested and arraigned before the Mahalapye Magistrate’s Court on a charge of arson. After his arraignment, the court granted him bail. Whilst on bail, he is alleged to have used a sharp instrument to stab Elizabeth Moatshe multiple times and also cut her throat taking her life on November 26, 2016 at Kudumatse”.

As at the time of application for bail, the police were investigating allegations to the effect that the applicant was intent on taking the life of his girlfriend’s mother, the complainant in the arson case. The state feared the applicant would fulfill his intentions if admitted to bail, said

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Moesi.

On November 8, 2017, Moesi said, it transpired that the respondent’s opposing papers had only been filed and served to the applicant that day.

“Even so, the applicant demanded that the application should be heard. However, the court ordered a month long postponement on the basis that the applicant should take time to study the opposing papers properly and consider his options.

“But by December 5, 2017 when the matter came up for arguments no response had been filed. However, on November 8, 2017 in court, the applicant verbally denied the allegations made by Matshubute. He particularly denied committing any offence whilst on bail in respect to the arson case. He also denied that such a case was pending,” Moesi said.

The applicant, Moesi said, stated that he compensated the complainant in the arson case and she had withdrawn her complaint leading to the arson case being withdrawn.

Moesi added: “The court had enquired from the applicant whether or not in compensating the complainant he had been admitting to the commission of the arson. The applicant responded in the affirmative”.

The allegations advanced by the respondent in opposition to the application were quite serious and the applicant’s affirmation to the commission of the arson in the opinion of the court lent weight to the respondent’s apprehension of risk of further violence at the hands of the applicant if admitted on bail, Moesi said.

“The granting of bail is discretionary. I found the applicant’s responses to the allegations contained in Matshubute’s affidavit to be disturbingly casual and disclosing on his part an easygoing attitude with regard to the public interest. That cannot be acceptable by any yardstick and it is not the demeanour of a person who expects favour from the court. Consequently, the application is dismissed,” Moesi said.

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