JWANENG: Neo Tanka, popularly known as Prophet Bonang of Pure Gospel Bible Church of God here, was last Friday remanded in custody for false declaration during an application for a passport.
Bonang, whose nationality is still questionable, allegedly applied for a passport in April 2016 and wrote Margaret Tanka as his mother and filled Nurse Kono’s identity number as if it is his mother’s.
He also wrote Bashi Tanka as his father and falsely used Douglas Kono’s identity card number who happened to be one of the couples in his flock.
The investigating officer (IO), detective Constable Otshedile Popo told the court that Bonang failed to account why he falsely used people’s identity numbers and that further raised suspicion about his nationality.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that Margaret Tanka whom he claim is his mother, was once charged and convicted of the same offence before court and her identity card and passport were forfeited to the State. We still want to establish how the accused acquired the birth certificate, the identity card and driver’s licence. We apply that the accused be remanded in custody because his nationality is still questionable and he is a flight risk,” said Popo.
It further emerged that Bonang told the investigating team that his father is from Thamaga, and
The team took him to Thamaga where he also failed to locate his relatives. During cross-examination, Bonang asked the IO why he thought he might skip the country yet he has a responsibility of taking care of the church, his television station and his eight-months-old baby.
Detective Popo told the court that the above-mentioned assets were not a guarantee that he will faithfully wait for trial as initial investigations revealed that he is a Zimbabwe national. The presiding Magistrate, Odirile Mokgatle ruled that the accused has contacts in Zimbabwe and South Africa and that served as a classic example of flight risk. He said the accused did not dispute that his alleged mother was also an ex-convict of the same offence.
Bonang was remanded in custody and a plea was reserved in the matter. Sub Inspector Edwin Supang prosecuted and the accused will seek legal representation. He will appear for mention on November 30.