FRANCISTOWN: A DIS agent, Derrick Masukula, 41, who is implicated in robbing Choppies Supermarket, was on Thursday granted bail when he appeared before Court for status update.
The gods also smiled on the fifth accused person, Ronald Dipholo, 49, after he regained his freedom while three other accused persons in the matter(s) were denied bail on account of their alleged past criminal conduct.
The State alleges that Masukula, Dipholo, Mogomotsi Thupane, 36, Thato aMoatshe, 31, and Ronnie Sanana, 40, robbed Choppies Supermarket along Haskins Street money amounting to P181, 180, 35 using a pistol and knife on August 1.
During the robbery, the State alleges that the accused also stole Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards worth P80 and Mascom SIM cards worth P80.
In the second count, the quartet is charged with malicious damage to property. The particulars of the offence are that the accused destroyed two doors valued at P4,000 belonging to Choppies still on August 1.
The State also alleges that the accused occasioned violence on some Choppies employees when they committed the offence.
The police are still looking for the sixth accused person in the matter(s).
Prior to granting Masukula and Dipholo bail, the Investigations Officer, Detective Sergeant Batisani Soba, informed Chief Magistrate Faith Dlamini-Ng’andu that another suspect implicated in the matter(s) was still on the run.
He said: “We are yet to collect vehicles from Gaborone that some of the accused allegedly bought with the stolen money. The cars that Thupane, Sanana, Masukula and Dipholo bought with the alleged stolen money are in police custody while Moatshe’s car is still in the custody of his girlfriend at Molepolole. I have written a savingram to the Central Transport Organisation (CTO) to assist us to bring the cars to Francistown. We are also yet to record statements from some witnesses, especially people who sold the cars to the accused. I have checked the sixth accused person at his residence in Shoshong but his whereabouts are still unknown.”
Soba added that he therefore, had no problem if the court can grant Masukula and Dipholo bail.
“My reasons for not objecting to Masukula to be granted bail is that it is the first time that he is alleged to have any brush with the law. I also have no problem if the court may grant Dipholo bail since he handed himself to the
However, the court should impose strict bail conditions that Masukula and Dipholo should follow. On the contrary, Thupane, Moatshe and Sanana should not be granted bail because they have various cases pending before the courts in the Gaborone District,” said Soba.
Soba explained that the reason(s) why he was objecting to the trio to be given bail was that they were previously granted bail in the matters that they were alleged to have committed in the Gaborone District, but violated one of the conditions that they were supposed to follow-not to commit any other offence while on bail…
When delivering ruling on bail, Dlamini-Ng’andu explained that the granting of bail was at the discretion of the court after it hadcarried out a balancing exercise looking at the interests of all players that were affected by the case(s)…
Dlamini-Ng’andu then granted Masukula bail on condition that he would appear in court as and when required to do so, should not be suspected of having committed any crime whilst on bail, provided wo sureties who should each bind themselves with P3,000 and pay a cash bond of P5,000.
On the other hand, Dipholo was granted bail on condition that he appeared in court as and when required to do so, provided two sureties who should each bind themselves with P3,000, not be suspected of having a hand in the commission of any offence while on bail and shall bind himself with P5,000.
Dlamini-Ng’andu concluded: “With regard to other accused persons, they are denied bail because they are suspected to have committed some serious offences whilst on bail for other offences. To release them on bail will make the society to lose trust on our courts of laws. However, they are free to approach the High Court for bail. The Prosecution should also make sure that they appear before the courts in Gaborone whenever required to do so and also appear in court in Francistown without any fail. The accused shall appear in court on October 6.”