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Choppies robbery accused apply for bail

LEBOGANG MOSIKARE
Choppies superstore at Ngilichi House Pic: KEOAGILE BONANG
FRANCISTOWN: Three men implicated in a Choppies Stores robbery at Ngilichi House made an urgent bail application at the High Court on Tuesday.

The trio, Mogomotsi Thupane, Aaron Sanana and Thato Moatshe are accused of robbing Choppies Supermarket along Haskins Street money amounting to P181, 180,35 armed with a pistol and a knife. During the heist, 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 accused are 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 accused allegedly used violence on some Choppies employees in the process of committing the offence.

The trio is charged together with an agent of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), Derrick Masukula and Ronald Dipholo who have since being granted bail by Chief Magistrate Faith Dlamini-Nga’ndu.

When Thupane, Sanana and Moatshe appeared for bail before Justice Phadi Solomon, their attorney Tshekiso Tshekiso told the court that the State was primarily denying them bail for two reasons.

“The first reason that the State is advancing in denying the applicants bail is that investigations are still continuing. The second reason that the State is advancing is that the applicants are likely to commit more offences whilst on bail. The State has not alluded to any prima facie evidence that links the accused to the commission of offences. There is no suggestion that the applicants are a flight risk. The State is not concerned about whether the accused will attend court or not,” said Tshekiso.

Tshekiso said that Sanana

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was being denied bail on accusations of having committed murder in 2014. “The murder case allegedly happened in 2014 and the State is claiming that they have only managed to make a breakthrough with their investigations in July this year. Sanana is linked with the murder case because the other person implicated in the offence said that the rifle used to commit the offence belongs to Sanana but is not alleged to have acted in concert and in common purpose with that person to commit the murder. Sanana denies the ownership of the rifle. There were no records inspected to proof that Sanana is the owner of the rifle or not,” said Tshekiso.

With regard to Thupane and Moatshe, Tshekiso said that they were being denied bail because they partly had cases before various magistrates in Gaborone.

“If indeed the State feels strongly that the accused have violated their bail conditions, they could have applied for cancellation of their previous bails, but the State has not done that. The State can therefore, not use that as the reason for denying the accused bail… The applicants’ papers will show that their co-accused persons, (Masukula and Dipholo) have since being granted bail. The applicants are alleged to have acted in concert and common purpose with two other people who have since being granted bail. So, why release others and deny others bail while they are accused of having committed the offences together?” said Tshekiso.

Justice Solomon will deliver a ruling on bail application on October 5.



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