Ex-cop disappoints accused

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JWANENG- In an attempt to bolster his defence in a dagga charge, 26-year-old Moatlhodi Mosipidi roped in an ex-cop Gobona Ramonna as his witness.

However Ramonna displayed little interest in rescuing him from an offence that attracts a jail sentence and a fine.

When the trial resumed on Tuesday, Ramonna told the Magistrate Court that he did not know why he was brought there.

The accused led him through the events that led to his arrest in May 22, 2014 but Ramonna said the accused knows why he was arrested.

He said on that day he met the accused at Unit 4, Jwaneng, in possession of a laptop and other items before he threw a plastic bag into a yard, containing something suspected to be dagga.

He said the accused distanced himself from the plastic bag and he was arrested immediately in the presence of the yard owner. Though the accused claimed he had been assaulted, Rammona testified otherwise.  The prosecution will make their final written submissions on November 30, whilst the accused will do oral submissions on December 11.

Still in court, Magistrate Keakantse fined Walter James John Hamoir and Shamim Hassen P2,000 each for unlawful possession of dagga. The two dreadlocked men were arrested in possession of the dagga at a police roadblock.

Court records show that the duo claimed ownership of the bag containing the substance but distanced themselves from the two plastic bags, one under their seat and the other in the shelves. However, a bus conductor also testified that he saw the two while collecting bus fares and a search was done by police at the road block.

Though he could not reveal exactly where they were sitting, he said they were at the back, contrary to the defence statement that they were on the second seat from the back. The court also found the denial of the two plastic bags by the duo unconvincing and when the dagga was taken for weighing, it was 924.4g.

During their mitigation, Hamoir pleaded for a lenient sentence, saying he was the eldest in a family which is single headed by his unemployed mother. He also pleaded that that he was poor hence his failure to engage the services of a defence attorney. His co-accused Hassen also pleaded for mercy of the court saying he is the sole breadwinner for his siblings and sickly mother.

They were fined P2,000 each, payable before 26 January 2016 and in default they will spend two years in prison.

Editor's Comment
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