FRANCISTOWN: The High Court has ruled that a man implicated in the gangster-style murder of a Tutume McConnell Community College teacher in 2015, has a case to answer.
Justice Matlhogonolo Phuthego made the ruling on Friday following the closing of the State’s investigation into a case in which Nthoiwa Maxala is alleged to have murdered Thuso Mulaladzi on September 13, 2015 at Somerset East location.
Mulaladzi was a Physics teacher at McConnell. Maxala was initially charged with six other men but the State later filed nolle prosequi papers (unwilling to prosecute or do not prosecute) against them because there was no sufficient evidence to implicate them in the commission of the offence.
The men were alleged to have trailed Mulaladzi to Francistown from Borolong in a Pajero car and allegedly gunned him down in a yard at Somerset East after the car he was driving reached a cul-de-sac. Maxala and Mulaladzi’s problems allegedly erupted because they were involved with the same woman.
Before the State closed its probe, the investigation officer, assistant superintendent Lyn Agang told the court that she recorded a warning statement from Maxala on September 15, 2015 while on duty at Kutlwano Police Station.
“The accused was brought to my office following his arraignment at the Magistrate’s Court. I then handed him to Constable Obedience Masilo to record his statement because he voluntarily told me that he could not write the statement. Masilo recorded the accused’s statement in another office during my absence. By the time I was talking to him he didn’t object to giving the statement,” said Agang when asked by prosecutor Onneile Selawa.
When cross-examined by the defence attorney Reneetswe Rabosotho, Agang told the court that she was not present when the police arrested Maxala.
Agang also denied knowledge of an agreement made between the police and Maxala under duress that if he admitted to the commission of the offence, he will get his gun and car back and then granted bail.
She said: “If the police ever assaulted the accused, he would have revealed that to the Magistrate during his arraignment before he was brought to the police station for questioning.”
Rabosotho also asked another State witness, Masilo, the same questions he had earlier on posed to Agang, chiefly that Maxala was assaulted by the arresting team and was promised bail if he admitted to having committed the offence, but Masilo also denied knowledge of the assault.
Masilo reasoned that since he was not present when Maxala was arrested, he could not comment on something that allegedly happened when he was absent as the accused claimed.
“If the accused was assaulted as he claims, he would have revealed that to the Magistrate, station commander of Kutlwano police or even prison officials. He voluntarily tendered his statement to me because he was not reeling under any pain after he was assaulted by the police as he claims,” Masilo said. The case continues.