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Choppies break-in suspects denied bail

Even Shopping malls are targets for criminals
FRANCISTOWN: Two Zimbabwean men suspected of breaking into Choppies Supermarket at Loja Mall were on Tuesday denied bail. The two are alleged to have robbed the supermarket of money, airtime and cell phones totaling R220, 800.

The state alleges that on March 25, Mathiba Ncube, 27, and Nkululeko Dube, 32, broke through the roof of the store to commit offence. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Inspector Alexander Phale applied for the accused to be remanded in custody because investigations in the matter are still at their initial stages.

Supporting the opposition to bail, detective sergeant Boitshwarelo Mokgweetsi told Principal Magistrate Sijabuliso Siziba that investigations in the case are still continuing. He said that they have not arrested the other suspect in the matter, who is also a Zimbabwean.

“Ncube deposited some of the suspected stolen money into his account in a Zimbabwe bank. We are still to engage Interpol to recover that money.

We fear that if he is granted bail he may tamper with our investigations. He was also arrested whilst on bail for a similar matter in court six. We fear that he may commit other offences if granted bail,” said Mokgweetsi.

Moreover, Mokgweetsi said Dube should be denied bail because he does not have a passport and has no business interests in the country that may bind him to attend court when needed.

The only

thing binding Dube to Botswana is that he works as a farm labourer at Shashe.

“We will engage Interpol in bid to arrest the third accused person. This process takes a lot of time and we fear that if we grant them bail they may contact the third accused person whom we believe is in possession of some stolen property in Zimbabwe,” said Mokgweetsi.

In his ruling, Siziba said that the accused stand charged with shopping breaking and theft, which is a very serious offence. He said that the money total amount of money and goods allegedly stolen is also very substantial.

“Although the accused should be presumed innocent until proven guilty that right may be curtailed if the prosecution gives valid reasons for such an action.

The accused may be granted bail at a later stage if it is conducive to do so. In my view I think the prosecution have adduced valid reasons for the accused to be remanded in custody.  The accused will therefore be remanded in custody to allow the police to complete their investigations,” said Siziba adding that they should appear in court on April 21.





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