PALAPYE: Principal Magistrate Gofaone Morweng has on Tuesday incarcerated four employees of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) and their unemployed accomplice for stealing university property worth P111,356.45.
One of the accused Molefi Pholo was a messenger/driver at the university. Raymond Balopi, Kabelo Aron, Ditiro Majeremane are Pholo’s co-accused who were labourers at the university, while another co-accused Shadreck Maenzanise is unemployed.
According to the state, the five faced a single count of stealing by a servant. They were all found guilty as charged. Pholo was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment while the other four were sentenced to 12 months each, all without suspension.
When delivering the judgment, Morweng said the evidence before court establishes that the accused persons periodically removed the BIUST properties from the University warehouse and University premises illegally, which conduct, qualified as an element of theft.
He said Pholo’s defence was a bare denial of the committal of the offence, however, there was overwhelming evidence against him and his testimony was devoid of truth.
Many of the recovered properties, he said, were found in his house at Serowe some of which had been concealed at
He said the other four accused persons, testified that they took properties from BIUST at the direction of Pholo who was their supervisor.
He said they had to exercise a form of restraint because at the time of their employment they were informed of their responsibilities and that Pholo was a driver.
“I must emphasise that all the accused persons were found in possession of different BIUST properties, which they removed without authority and the evidence against each one of them is compelling,” Morweng said before delivering the sentence.
In the particulars of the offence, between March 6, 2015, and March 9, 2015, the exact date not known to the prosecution, the five acting together stole a range of properties from the university.
The loot was inclusive of computers, swivel chairs, washing machine, microwave, football kit, mattress covers, blankets, sheets, curtains, mirror, paints, barbed wires, and many others, mostly bearing the BIUST logo.