FRANCISTOWN: Justice Zibani Makhwade yesterday postponed to September 9 an application for bail pending appeal by three people who were convicted for fraudulently representing themselves as agents of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS).
Makhwade postponed the matter because he has not received the full-transcribed case record of the lower court that found the accused guilty.
Prior to postponing the matter, Makhwade said he only received part of the case record on Tuesday. The appellants, Alakanani Kiba, Thabo Sello and Victor Tachipulu were each sentenced to between six and eight years in jail.
They pleaded guilty to falsely representing themselves as DIS officers and unlawfully arrested an Indian businessman Pankajkumar Shah on February 12, 2012 at Sebina. Passing sentence, Principal Magistrate Dumisani said that Kiba and Sello were first offenders while Tachipulu was previously convicted of impersonating a person employed in the public service in the past which is similar to the offence he was currently charged with.
“Tachipulu was also found guilty of illegally dealing in diamonds in 1985. This shows that he is a hard learner who does not want to repent from his past mistakes. The law provides that the accused should be sentenced to not more than 12 years in jail for this offence,” said Basupi.
Kiba is a former Botswana Police Service (BPS) detective who was based at Francistown police station. He pleaded with the court to grant him bail in the current circumstances because he is taking care of his family of three, whom he said were suffering because of his incarceration.
“Thirty days have since passed since I was sentenced by the trial court but my case record is still not before the high court,” said Kiba.
Makhwade intervened and told Kiba that even though the rules say that his record should have been availed to the high court before 30 days, he was constrained to grant him bail without knowing the full facts that led to his imprisonment.
Makhwade said Kiba’s reasons for being granted bail pending appeal were not sufficient.
“There is a reason why the trial court found you guilty of the offence that landed you in jail. In fact, from the piece record that I have before me, it is clear that you admitted to the offence. You should tell me something exceptional that would compel me to grant you bail without knowing the facts of your matter and prospects of your application’s success,” said Makhwade.
Sello also pleaded with the court to grant her bail saying her child is pregnant and is failing to pay their Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) rented house and may be evicted at anytime. Makhwade dismissed her plea saying that it did not sound weighty to grant her bail pending appeal. Tachipulu said although he was tempted to apply for bail pending appeal, he was constrained to do so because he was going to have difficulties going forward in the absence of the full case record from the lower court.
At the end of the status hearing, Makhwade said he would have no choice but to use part of the record that is not transcribed before him to make a determination on the appellants’ application. g unrealistic targets and time-frame. Some of the measures had serious resource implications that as a country, we could not guarantee,” Masisi said