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Accused BMW carjackers denied bail

LEBOGANG MOSIKARE
Accused BMW carjackers denied bail
FRANCISTOWN: Two men who were arrested in connection with allegedly robbing a BMW 1 series car using violence were on Wednesday denied bail by the High Court.

The duo, Jabulani Kelesiile of Bluetown location and Kenanao Tshabatau, a local, allegedly robbed Elias Fani of his BMW car worth P48,000 on June 17 at Borolong village. 

The state also alleges that the accused committed the offence together with Thabani Moyo, a Zimbabwean. 

They allegedly robbed Fani of goods worth P56,275, which is inclusive of money and mobilephones of different brands. 

Moyo has since been denied bail by Chief Magistrate Faith Dlamini-Ng’andu because he is in Botswana illegally. 

When denying the applicants bail, Justice Tshegofatso Mogomotsi stated that they had previously failed in their bid to regain freedom before the Francistown Magistrate’s Court in September since it was feared that they may interfere with investigations if they were so granted bail since the investigations were by then still fresh. 

However, Mogomotsi said that it was unfortunate that neither the applicants nor the prosecution have been furnished with the ruling detailing why the lower court denied them bail. 

Nonetheless, Mogomotsi noted that the court will make its ruling based on what was before it. 

“…It is common cause that the applicants are Batswana with permanent residence in the country… In determining whether or not to grant bail, one of the considerations that the court should look at is whether the applicants are a flight risk even though they are citizens of Botswana and should

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be presumed innocent before proven otherwise. The applicants are charged with robbery and their pleas have been reserved because investigations are still ongoing,” Mogomotsi said. 

She added that when determining whether or not to grant bail, the court shall also take into consideration whether or not the applicants will abscond from attending trial. 

Bail, Mogomotsi explained, is not granted basing on the mere fact that applicants have applied for it.

“According to the affidavit of the Investigations Officer (IO), the applicants were arrested a month after the alleged commission of the offence. The IO further said that the police fired warning shots in the air in a bid to arrest the applicants but the applicants ignored those shots and escaped. The IO also stated that none of the applicants gave concrete reasons why they escaped when the police tried to arrest them. I find the averments by the applicants that they handed themselves to the police as an afterthought meant to mislead this court. The applicants find themselves in the current situation because of their actions. In the premises, their application for bail is hereby dismissed,” Mogomotsi said.

At the end of the ruling, Mogomotsi also advised the applicants that the law allows them to make another bail application if there are any changes of circumstances in their matter.



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