FRANCISTOWN: Two men, who caused a storm after they allegedly carried out a string of armed robberies around the country, recently had their bails revoked after they violated one of their bail conditions.
The accused are implicated in the Choppies Supermarket robbery at Ngilichi House in Francistown. The state alleges that the accused robbed Choppies Supermarket along Haskins Street of money amounting to P181,180.35 using a pistol and knife on August 1, 2020. During the robbery, the state alleges that the accused also stole Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) Corporation Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards worth P80 and Mascom SIM cards worth P80.
The accused are also charged with malicious damage to property. They are accused of destroying two doors valued at P4,000 belonging to Choppies on August 1, 2020. When the other accused in the matter appeared before Magistrate Thabang Chokwe without Ofithile and Dipholo, prosecutor Moatlhodi Macheng from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) applied for a warrant of arrest to be issued against Ofithile and Dipholo and for their bails to be revoked because they violated one of their bail conditions. “Today’s mention date was set in the presence of all the accused persons.
I do not know why Ofithile and Dipholo are not present in court today. We as such make an application for their bails to be revoked,” Macheng said. Chokwe acceded to the application made by the state and made an order that Ofithile and Dipholo’s bails shall be revoked. Although Macheng said that he did not know why Ofithile and Dipholo were not present in court, he said it is probably because he has not received any official information from the police stating that the duo is implicated in recent heists that rocked the country.
He said that it is public knowledge that they are in jail as Ofithile is implicated in the October armed robbery incidents in Shoshong while Dipholo is implicated in the armed robbery in Serowe. The other accused persons in the Choppies robbery case feigned ignorance when Magistrate Chokwe asked them if they were aware of Ofithile and Dipholo’s whereabouts.
The Botswana Police Service (BPS) recently circulated a press release saying that the duo and another suspect allegedly robbed a Supermarket in Serowe and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. During Ofithile’s arrest, the police revealed that they recovered a loaded pistol and cash amounting to P20,000 believed to be proceeds of crime. MmegiOnline had also reported that Dipholo was arrested by Sir Seretse Khama police in Gaborone in connection with yet another armed robbery case.
In a media release, the BPS public relations officer, assistant commissioner Dipheko Motube stated that during the arrest of the accused, there was fire exchanged with the police. Motube stated that in the Shoshong robbery, three men attacked and robbed a family of cash amounting to P10,000 and cellphones.
During the accused’s previous appearances in the Francistown Magistrate's Court, Dipholo had persistently made an unsuccessful application for the police to bring his car, which they impounded after he was implicated in the Francistown Choppies robbery. He told the court that he did not buy the car with any proceeds of criminal activities adding that its continued impoundment by police is greatly prejudicing him since he is unemployed and is using it to generate income.
The accused are due in court on November 23 for another mention.