FRANCISTOWN: "This charge is a totally green lie. I don’t, as I have previously stated, and still don’t accept this spurious charge."
This was the booming voice of maverick politician, former Deupty Speaker of Parliament, Pono ‘PPP’ Moatlhodi denying a charge of assault before Chief Magistrate Faith N’Gandu-Dlamini here Thursday.
The acerbic Tonota constituency Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) politician who chose to use English in court was in his element when he appeared with two others for allegedly assaulting a minor and setting a dog on him on Thursday.
The State alleges that Moatlhodi and married couple, Maranyane Kebitsang, 67, and Nnyana Kebitsang, 60, acting together in concert subjected Kesego Olekantse, 11 to inhuman treatment on January 30.
It is alleged that they assaulted Olekantse and thereafter unleashed a vicious dog to bite him, causing the boy puncture wounds and bruises on his face and body contrary to the Children’s Act. All the accused, who are represented by attorney Martin Maeba, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Denying the charge, PPP chose to use English saying: “This charge is a total green lie. I don’t, as I have previously stated, and still don’t accept this spurious charge.”
Prosecutor Gaone Miller from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the court that investigations into the matter were complete. She also stated that the accused and complainant were not related.
“The child has also received medical attention following the alleged incident. We are not opposed to the accused being granted bail,” said Miller.
Magistrate Ngandu-Dlamini granted the accused bail on conditions that they appear in court without fail as and when required to do so. They should also not commit any crime whilst on bail, should not interfere with witnesses and complainant and shall each pay cash bail of P2,000 payable before they could be released.
The magistrate also ordered the prosecution to furnish the defence with all with witness statements and all other relevant documentary evidence they would need to prepare their defence.
The accused are due in court on April 18 for mention.
The police have previously stated that the trio’s brush with the law started after Olekantse allegedly stole mangoes from Kebitsang’s home.