Ex-Cop Given Suspended Sentence For Burning Car

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FRANCISTOWN: Principal Magistrate Dumisani Basupi said that a former policeman who was convicted of malicious damage to property has brought the name of Botswana Police Service (BPS) into disrepute.

The accused, Atlholang Mojanki, was convicted for partially burning a car belonging to Letsweletse Matome at Mmei Junior Secondary School in Francistown damaging property worth P4,000 in the process. Basupi sentenced the 35-year-old Mojanki on Friday, to three years in jail wholly suspended for a period of three years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within that period.

Further, Basupi ruled that after being certified fit by a medical practitioner, Mojanki will receive six strokes.

“I also make an order that the accused shall compensate the complainant. The clerk of court shall determine the amount to be paid after making an assessment of the damaged property. The accused has the right to appeal both the conviction and sentence at the High Court within 14 days if he is not satisfied,” said Basupi.

Basupi said he took into account what the accused’s attorney, Kabelo Gaonyadiwe said on his behalf when mitigating.

“The accused is a first offender, a factor that works in his favour. The circumstances surrounding this offence were caused by the break-up of a love relationship the accused had with his former girlfriend.

“When the accused learnt that she was now in a relationship with Matome, he did not take that well. This is the reason why he burnt the car, which was parked at his former girlfriend’s place,” said Basupi.

In addition, Basupi said that to show that Mojanki was determined to carry out the offence,j he went on to investigate who owned the car.

He continued: “The accused is a police officer and I have no doubt that he will be dismissed from his work. The loss of employment is a punishment on its own. However, the accused has unfairly put the name of the police service into disrepute. He was supposed to protect the public from criminals, but he ended up becoming the perpetrator”.

After his sentence was read out, Mojanki sighed with relief and shook hands with his attorney.

Archie Makgoa and Tawana Kapongo of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions were the prosecutors in the matter.

Mojanki, in addition to his conviction for the arson, is facing a murder charge.  The state alleges that he killed his ex-girlfriend, Bokani Sox, a former nurse at Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital, in the beginning of January 2014.

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