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Pastor Allegedly ‘Steals’ To Build Church

LEBOGANG MOSIKARE
FRANCISTOWN: A pastor at Signs and Worship Church in Tonota, who may be using the name of God to commit ungodly acts, appeared in court for a series of crimes. He is facing three counts of store breaking and theft.

In the theft case, the state alleges that the ‘man of God’, Mpho Hlabano and his accomplices, Mpho Moseki, Moemedi Motswere, Onalethata Kerileng and Nqobile Ncube, stole goods amounting to more than P3,000 amongst them gas cylinders and gum poles belonging to Buy and Build in Tonota between May 14 and 16, 2016.

Sub Inspector, Kenneth Edward said investigations into the matter are not complete. “We are yet to record statements from potential witnesses.Some of the stolen goods are at Siviya where we heard that they have been used to build a church.  We pray that the accused be remanded so that we complete our investigations,” said Edward.

In another matter, the state alleges that Hlabano and Thabo Rankapa broke into No Error Shop in Tonota, which belongs to former football player, owner of Tonota FC and now football administrator, Maokaneng Bontshetse, on a date unknown to the police in June.

The accused allegedly stole goods amongst them irons and cutting machines worth P30,000.

Edward told principal magistrate, Dumisani Basupi that investigations into the matter are incomplete.

“We still need to record more statements from witnesses.  Some stolen items have not yet been recovered.  The accused also have a propensity for terrorising people in the village.  We make an application that the accused

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be remanded in custody whilst we wind up our investigations.  They also have other cases that are not yet registered before court,” said Edward.

In the last matter, the ‘man of God’ and his accomplices, Moseki, Mothusi Shimane, Amogelang Marumoagae and Ncube, allegedly broke into SSB Spare Shop belonging to Sanjay Kumar between June 29 and 30 and stole electronic goods including computers, hydraulic jacks and seat covers valued at P19,000.

Just like in other matters, the state told the court that investigations into the matters are still continuing and pleaded with the court to remand the accused in jail in order to allow police to wind up their investigations since the accused may tamper with justice if they are granted bail.

While responding to the accused’s bail application, Basupi said: “The investigations in all the three matters are still at their initial stages as alluded to by the prosecution. The prosecution also stated that some items are missing and they are yet to be recovered.  In the circumstances, I find it appropriate to remand the accused in custody in order to give the prosecution more time to complete their investigations without any hindrance”.

The accused will appear in court for mention again in all the cases on July 22.



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