FRANCISTOWN: A Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) agent and five other men implicated in the robbery of Choppies Supermarket at Ngilichi House pleaded with the court on Tuesday to withdraw their charges with liberty to reinstate them.
The state alleges that agent Derrick Masukula, 42, Mogomotsi Thupane, 37, Thato Moatshe, 32, Ronnie Sanana, 41, and Ronald Dipholo, 50, 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) Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards worth P80 and Mascom SIM cards, worth P80. In the second count, the accused are charged with malicious damage to property.
The particulars of the offence are that the accused destroyed two doors valued at P4,000 belonging to Choppies. When giving an update of how far the investigations are, detective Sergeant Batisani Soba told the court that the investigations are 95% complete.
“I have been advised by the state counsel that the statements of bank accounts should be in the form of affidavits. I have started to do that. I have also received affidavits from the police forensic laboratory where the accused’s phones were taken for analysis.
The affidavit contains some errors and we have notified officers who prepared them to make some corrections. I am, however, still trying to get the ballistic report of the pistol that was allegedly used to commit the offence but I am encountering some hurdles since officers who have that information have told me that they cannot hand it over to me since it contains the name of their informants,” Soba said.
Soba added that he hopes to have completed his investigations in two weeks. When the accused, who have all been granted bail, appeared before Chief Magistrate Mareledi Dipate, they made an application for the court to make an order that the state should withdraw their charges with liberty to reinstate them after completion of investigations. They said that they are incurring financial costs by always coming to appear in court in Francistown while there is little progress in investigations ever since the charges were laid against them.
The accused added that since some of them were not based in Francistown but live as far as Serowe and Gaborone, this was crippling them financially in accommodation, transport and incidental costs when they come to court for appearances.
Chief Magistrate Dipate will deliver a ruling on the application made by the accused on October 21, 2021.