Thato Tsametse, who has been charged with killing his teenage cousin for P50,000 in insurance claims, has been granted bail by Broadhurst magistrate, Tshepo Thedi.
Arnold Ofentse was brutally murdered in Mogoditshane with his throat slit only for investigations to lead to his guardian’s son.
This comes a few weeks after High Court judge, Omphemetse Motumise, turned down his bail application, as investigations had not yet been completed by then.
Tsametse’s attorney, Howard Tainton quickly moved the bail application before Thedi after the prosecution told the court that investigations had been completed.
“My client would like to apply for bail as circumstances have now changed. He was denied bail at the High Court because of ongoing investigations. But now since they have been completed, the court should be able to hear his application,” he said.
The prosecution argued that Tsametse should take his application to the High Court.
However, after studying Motumise’s ruling, Thedi granted Tsametse a cash bail of P5,000. He was also ordered to provide two sureties who will each pay P1,000.
Tsametse is also not to interfere with witnesses and is to report at Mogoditshane Police Station daily.
On March 13, Tsametse was arrested by the police and questioned over the murder of his 16-year-old cousin, Ofentse.
This was after he allegedly made a P50,000 claim from Botswana Life where he had insured Ofentse with two Mmoloki Funeral Policies. He was taken in for questioning and later released.
Seven days later, he was arrested once again and taken into custody.
The court heard that Tsametse was reported to the police
The prosecution told the court that Tsametse confessed to the healers that he had indeed killed Ofentse and wanted them to keep him from being prosecuted for it.
During the bail hearing at the High Court, his then attorney, Nkosana Ngwenya argued that it would be unfair for the court to take into consideration the alleged confessions as his client had not pleaded guilty in court, nor had he confirmed that he indeed confessed.
“This point does not stand as it is not a reason to deny him bail.
The prosecution is attempting to state that they have a strong case and not stating why they are opposing the bail application,” he said.
The prosecution argued that investigations were still ongoing and he could interfere with witnesses and sources.
They also argued that Tsametse could not be granted bail as there was damning evidence against him in the confessions he made to the traditional healers, adding that Tsametse could flee and enraged family members might decide to take the law into their own hands.
To this, Ngwenya said they were not worried about anyone harming his client, as the law would take its cause.
Motumise denied Tsametse bail then, saying he could only apply if there was change of circumstances.