FRANCISTOWN: A murder accused person who seems to have an inclination to commit one crime on top of another was recently sentenced to the slammer for assaulting a prosecutor from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Gaboratanelwe Sejaka landed in trouble after he assaulted Gasemotho Pitlagano at the Area L Magistrate’s Court in April. He slapped Pitlagano while Pitlagano was duly performing his prosecutorial duties.
However, senior Magistrate Kose Makobo handed Sejaka a one-year jail sentence wholly suspended for the same period on condition that he does not commit a similar offence or any offence that has violence as an element. After giving Sejaka the suspended sentence Makobo however, ordered that Sejaka should receive seven strokes of the cane after being certified fit by a medical practitioner. She added that Sejaka’s actions needed to be censured otherwise other accused persons would follow suit, which would in the process, turn the whole justice system into a mockery.
This was not the first time that an accused person assaulted a prosecutor while the prosecutor was carrying out his/her normal duties.
In January 2017, notorious convict, Gaomodimo
Molosiwa is facing a slew of charges among them armed robbery.
The 29-year-old Molosiwa surreptitiously attacked Gaboiphiwe before prison warders handcuffed him in front of courtrooms four and five.
Following Pitlagano’s recent assault incident, prosecutors who spoke to your truly said that they no longer feel safe in the vicinity of accused persons while executing their duties inside and outside courtrooms.
They said that the courts should firmly deal with all accused persons who assault court officers.
Journalists are also sporadically insulted and attacked by accused persons while in the course of performing their professional duties at the courts.
The insults have psychologically affected cub reporters that now fear being assigned to cover news at the courts.
This is compounded by the fact that journalists are sometimes assaulted in the presence of police officers at the courts with no real recourse or intervention.