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Judge denies ‘serial offender’ bail

Gobuamang Ntsuape... PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
FRANCISTOWN: A man accused of having committed a litany of crimes was on Wednesday denied bail by Justice Lot Moroka.

The applicant, Gobuamang Ntsuape, 32, of Ramotswa, had approached the High Court asking for bail pending trial for eight offences that include murder, attempted murder, arson, manslaughter, malicious damage to property and disabling in order to commit an offence.

Giving his ruling, Moroka said the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) opposed Ntsuape’s bail application.

“The DPP’s opposition of the bail is supported by an affidavit of the investigating officer (IO) who stated that the applicant is a flight risk and is likely to commit more offences while on bail.

The IO says this is so because the applicant has demonstrated a desire to escape from custody on December 1, 2016 after he wrestled for the steering wheel of the Quantum minibus that was transporting the police and inmates back to prison with its driver,” Moroka said.

He added that in the process the car overturned and killed a special constable and a prison inmate who was facing a charge of rape and murder.  “It is our law that all persons accused of having committed criminal offences are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, bail is granted to suspects who are not a flight risk and those who will attend court whenever they are required to do so. Where there is evidence of possible flight or non-attendance, bail cannot be granted,” Moroka said.

The prima facie evidence before court, Moroka noted, particularly allegations that the

accused caused the death of the police officer and an inmate point to the conclusion that the accused is a flight risk and not a good candidate for bail.

“The IO also says that the accused may interfere with witnesses because he burnt a house and two cars belonging to the parents of his former girlfriend which resulted in the death of the mother of his ex-girlfriend while attempting to kill his former girlfriend.

The accused has not been found guilty of any offence, but circumstances show that he may commit more crimes once he is granted bail,” Moroka said. He stated that because of the above-mentioned points raised by the prosecution, Ntsuape is therefore denied bail and shall appear in court for trial in September.

Ntsuape had approached the court praying for bail pending trial saying that he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty as per the country’s Constitution.

Ntsuape left the court in a hurry after the Judge denied his bail application.

Conversely, relatives of his ex-girlfriend who have been following the case since it was registered at the Magistrate Court breathed a sigh of relief after Ntsuape was denied bail.

They previously wrote a letter to former Magistrate Sijabuliso Siziba praying with him to deny Ntsuape bail because he may complete his mission of harming them again or even killing his ex-girlfriend or other members of their family.




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