FRANCISTOWN: A Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor landed in hot soup for failure to pay child maintenance.
Dumani Kelepi, who lost the recent BDP primary elections at Tatisiding, is in maintenance arrears of P12, 800.
As Kelepi failed to turn up in court today, Magistrate Cele Lebakeng issued a warrant for his arrest.
The prosecutor in the matter sub-inspector Keobonye Matsapa told the court that Kelepi called him in the morning around 6am telling him that he was at a pawnshop but will come to court.
“I called the accused but he later told me that he reported himself at Masunga police station after he failed to attend court,” said Matsapa.
This did not go down well with Lebakeng who told Matsapa that Kelepi will not get preferential treatment from the court just because he is a councillor.
“I have issued a warrant of arrest for the accused. It is not time to play. I cannot tolerate the accused if he violates court orders with impunity just because he is a councillor. Just because he is a councillor does not mean that court action cannot be taken against him,” said Lebakeng.
Lebakeng added: “If it was somebody else you could have arrested him for not attending court”.
At that moment Matsapa pleaded with the court to give him until Wednesday to arrest the accused.
Matsapa had initially told the court that he
Lebakeng told Matsapa that he could have waited until lunchtime to arrest Kelepi since he could not have arrested him while he was in the council chambers.
Matsapa’s statement invited the fury of Lebakeng who told Matsapa that he should treat the matter with the seriousness it deserves.
She said: “I am not joking. You are not taking me seriously and you deliberately failed to arrest the accused after I initially issued a warrant for his arrest on Monday. What message are you trying to send to the public. Just because Kelepi is a councillor does not mean that he is above the law. The court will not allow him to trample the law with impunity”.
Lebakeng further told Matsapa that he wanted Kelepi in her court with immediate effect.
“If you could have detained Kelepi he could be in court right now and we could not be having this conversation. I give you 30 minutes to arrest Kelepi and avail him in my court,” said Lebakeng.
When the court adjourned for lunch, Matsapa was told to go and arrest Kelepi but he failed to do so.