Four accused persons in the 2005 Mogoditshane land scam has been acquitted and discharged by the High Court.
Francistown High Court Judge, Bengbame Sechele delivered his ruling and acquitted the accused persons through a videoconference.
After a much delay due to technical issues, Sechele read his ruling to a seating court in Gaborone.
He explained that his reasons for the acquittal and discharge would be detailed in a written judgment to be disposed to the accused persons and all parties.
“The accused persons have reasonable laid their reasons for a no case to answer and after a reasonable consideration, the court has taken the decision to free them. The accused will be acquitted from all the charges,” he said.
The accused, Kaboyaone Johnson Segola, Maggie Mathumo, Tiny Nnuku Khole and Kgomotso Thabanelo had made an application for no case to answer before Justice Bengbame Sechele through their respective attorneys.
They had sought to be acquitted and discharged from the allegations that have been hanging over their heads for more than ten years.
The accused, who were employees of the Mogoditshane Sub Land Board are alleged to have been involved in corruption activities at the Land Board.
They were accused to have made a killing through selling residential plots to members of the public between Mmopane Block 1, Mogoditshane Block 9, and Mogoditshane Block 7.
They were arrested by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC)
Their acquittal follows a long end fight, where they even took Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to court for failing to effect prosecution.
Before the application for no case to answer they had approached the court seeking permanent stay of prosecution on allegations of land corruption they were facing.
During that time their attorneys had reckoned they would not have a fair trial and that they would be subjected to prejudice since so many years had passed while waiting to be tried.
There was argument that they had been an inordinate delay in formally charging the accused persons and that he had been subjected to frequent questioning and threats of detention.
“My client was arrested in 2005 but he was formally charged in 2008 and committed to the High Court in 2013. The delay has made it impossible for my client to remember certain facts and details surrounding the alleged offence. Also the material witness may no longer be found due to the delay,” said one of the attorneys.
Unoda Mack represented Segola, Busang Manewe was for Mathumo while Omphemetse Motumise (before ascending to the judgeship) and Mogakolodi Segwagwa represented Khole and Tlhabanelo respectively. Lesedi Seloka represented DPP.