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Bail decision for Kanye armed robbers tomorrow

MPHO MOKWAPE
Bail judgment on the three of the seven suspects in the cash loan robbery in Kanye two weeks ago that claimed the life of a police officer is expected tomorrow.

The trio, Evans Mhiwatiwa (43) from Zimbabwe, Gaofenngwe Seitiso (34) of Kanye and Thuso Tankomane (28) from Molepolole yesterday appeared before Kanye Principal Magistrate, Janet Phosa seeking bail. They are facing five counts including armed robbery, murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

Phosa said the bail application would be determined only after the investigating officer in the matter was given a chance to make submissions on the development of the case.

“For the sake of justice, I cannot rule on the bail application now as the investigating officer has not yet made his submissions regarding the case, we will have to give him a chance to do so in order for the court to make an informed decision,” she said. Earlier on the prosecution officer, Goitsemang Sekgabo told court that they request that the trio be remanded in custody, as investigations are still ongoing and that two suspects are still at large while another one was not able to appear in court due to his critical injuries. He also said the investigating officer was away pursuing other aspects of the robbery and that he needed more time.

“There has not been much development in apprehending the other two suspects who are still at large even now, and the investigating officer out on duty regarding the same case, and we are yet to bring the fourth suspects

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who we are told by prison officers is in a critical state,” he said.

Sekgabo added that the witnesses’ statements are yet to be recorded, therefore the release of the suspects may jeopardise that process.

Tankomane’s lawyer Aobakwe Monamo, however, in reference to all, said the suspects should be granted bail as prosecution has failed to show cause why they should be remanded.

“The court cannot remand the accused when there is not even a thread of evidence why they should remain behind bars. It is not reason enough that the other two suspects are still at large, it is not their fault and they cannot suffer on that account,” he said.

Monamo said until the prosecution provides court with solid evidence why the trio could not be released, there was no reason for the magistrate to make the accused suffer on behalf of someone’s incompetence.

He said there was no way his client and the other suspects were flight risks as they resided in the country despite one being a foreigner.

“My client lives here, he is married to a Motswana woman with children and he has property here. So are the other accused that are Batswana and will not bail out,” said Noah Rutherford, Mhiwatiwa’s lawyer.

Seitiso together with the fourth accused Malibongwe Moyo, who was shot in the robbery and still recovering, are represented by Sesupo Masaka.



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