FRANCISTOWN: A man accused of allegedly hiring two contract assassins to murder his ex-girlfriend over child support has finally acquiesced in having an attorney represent him. The ex-girlfriend's murder follows after the magistrate's court ordered the accused to pay P300 monthly for each of the children he fathered with her.
The state alleges that the accused couple, Banoziba Dambe, 46, who is the director of Bano Investments and spouse, Tiny Dambe, 34, a nurse by profession, and their alleged assassins, Lesedi Khunou, 31 (Tiny’s close relative) allegedly murdered Dambe’s former girlfriend, Concilliah Ncube.
The accused were initially indicted for all charges they are facing along with Gaone Matebele, who has since passed on after Dambe allegedly murdered him.
Following the death of Matebele, Dambe has since been appearing before Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo on allegations of killing the former.
The trio is also indicted for allegedly attempting to murder four people, three of whom are Dambe’s children with Ncube.
According to the charge sheet, on May 7, 2017, at Flowertown ward in Kazungula village in the Chobe District, the accused persons burnt a house occupied by Ncube, thereby causing her injuries from which she later succumbed to on May 12, 2017, at Kasane Primary Hospital.
In the four attempted murder counts, the trio allegedly tried to set fire to the house the complainants Moreblessing, Tshepiso and Thabo Ncube, who are Dambe’s children with Ncube and their relative Andrew Banoziba, were sleeping in on May 7, 2017, at Flowertown ward in Kazungula.
When the case came for continuation of trial on Monday before Justice Bengbame Sechele, attorney Cele Lebakeng told the court that Dambe finally engaged her to represent him in the alleged murder case.
In the past, Dambe had told the court that he had cut the services of a state appointed attorney because they had differences over how to approach the case. Dambe, therefore asked the court’s indulgence to find another attorney to represent him.
Lebakeng, a former magistrate, further told the court that she will need the record of proceedings to be transcribed to fully prepare for trial. Her sentiments were also shared by attorney Morris Ndawana, who is representing Tiny and Khunou.
At the end of the continuation of the trial hearing, which did not continue on account of the lack of the transcribed case record, Justice Sechele postponed it for a status update in the next year. Sechele said: “The matter(s) is postponed to March 17 in 2022 to confirm the availability of the transcribed case record. The matter(s) shall continue for trial on April 25 to 29 in 2022. The bails of Tiny and Khunou are extended until then, while Banoziba (Dambe) shall be further remanded in custody.”
Dambe was previously granted bail, but was revoked after he allegedly murdered Matebele.
One of his bail conditions was not to be reasonably suspected of having committed any offence but he violated it after he allegedly murdered his ‘hired gunman’, Matebele. According to a Daily News report, when the accused were previously arraigned at the Kasane Magistrate's Court, Dambe requested Magistrate Mpho Molema to withdraw charges against his co-accused saying that he committed the offence(s) alone.
As per the Daily News report, Matebele had said Dambe tricked them into burning the Ncube house because there was no one inside it and also laid claim to it.
“Banoziba had told us that we should burn the house so that he can be able to receive insurance coverage and thereafter hire us to build him a bigger house,” Matebele said then.