FRANCISTOWN: Two men accused of posing as police officers to extort cash from Zimbabweans in transit to South Africa, appeared in court yesterday. Botlhasitse Gabotlhaloswe and Gosekwang Ngwabi are alleged to have impersonated police officers on January 9 at the BMC circle in order to swindle Zimbabwe nationals, Lindani Ncube and Kagiso Ncube of cash.
They allegedly produced a police notebook and asked for the passports of the complainants. Police say the duo was caught after a tip-off from a member of the public who complained that some plain clothed police officers at the BMC circle were asking for bribes from Zimbabweans in transit to South Africa. The tip-off alleged that the two accused promised to guarantee passage to illegal travellers without passports.
The accused were busted after police mounted an under cover operation.
Yesterday, Gabotlhaloswe and Ngwabi pleaded not guilty to the offence after the charges were read to them before Principal Magistrate Dumisani Basupi.
They told the court that they will look for attorneys to represent them in the matter and complained that they were kept in police custody more than the statutory 48 hours after their arrest. The two were given P1,000 bail and ordered to bring a surety to pay P500. They were also ordered not to interfere with state witnesses.
The trial date has been set for January 16, 2015. Meanwhile, the state will provide an attorney for a 15-year-old primary school pupil who is facing four charges of having anal sex with boys under the age of 14-years without their consent along Tati River.
The prosecution and magistrate found out that the law requires minors under 16-years to always be represented by attorneys whenever they appear in court.
The minor who appeared in court on Tuesday accompanied by a social worker allegedly committed the offences between October 2012 and March 2013. The accused will be tried on April 7, 2015.