‘BMW hijacking' accused plead 'not guilty'

Francistown High Court PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Francistown High Court PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG

FRANCISTOWN: Two men, a Zimbabwean, Thabani Moyo and a local, Jabulani Kesiile of Bluetown, pleaded 'not guilty' to the offence of robbing a person of his BMW 1 series car on Monday.

The state alleges that the duo and another person not before the court robbed Elias Fani of his BMW worth P48,000 on June 17, 2020, at Borolong village using violence.

The state also alleges that in total the accused robbed Fani of his car and other goods (money and cellphones) worth a little over P62,000.

When the accused appeared before Magistrate Thabang Chokwe for arraignment, Moyo pleaded guilty to the offence of entering Botswana illegally but just like Kesiile, pleaded not guilty to robbery. Moyo pleaded with the court to give him the earliest trial dates possible since he has been languishing in jail for 17 months ever since he was arrested in connection with the offences.

Moyo also bemoaned the prosecution had in the past promised to furnish him with statements from Mascom and Orange telecommunications companies, but have not honoured that promise.

“I also make an application for the investigating officer (IO) to be availed in court to explain how I am linked with these offences because I was simply arrested for being found in the company of other accused persons. I have told the IO that I know nothing about these offences but he just charged me [anyway],” Moyo decried.

Chokwe advised Moyo to reserve that plea since the IO will come before the court to give his version of the story after which Moyo will be allowed to cross-examine him. In response to the evidence from Mascom and Orange, prosecutor Neo Machola said that she was not given any evidence from Mascom and Orange.

Moyo was further remanded in custody while Kesiile is currently on bail. The accused are due in court on January 25, 2022.

Previously, Justice Tshegofatso Mogomotsi stated that Moyo was denied bail at Francistown Magistrate's Courts in September 2021, since it was feared that he may interfere with investigations if he was granted bail since the investigations were by then still fresh.

The judge also said that the fact that Moyo was illegally in Botswana worsened his plight because he was a flight risk. “According to the affidavit of the IO, the applicants were arrested a month after the alleged commissioning 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 had 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.

Editor's Comment
Are police trigger-happy?

Unfortunately, that day turned sour for those who were shopping at Sefalana Cash and Carry in Gaborone West Industrial.The exchange of fire that ensued between members of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) and robbers who had allegedly robbed a G4S cash-in-transit vehicle left two civilians dead, three robbers struck down, and an undisclosed number of citizens wounded.One deceased civilian is reportedly an employee of the Citizen Entrepreneurial...

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