FRANCISTOWN: Two South Africans facing charges of allegedly impersonating South African police officers were denied bail on Friday.
According to the state, Donald Nyoni, 38, and Solomon Zithu, 37, both from Johannesburg, falsely represented themselves as South African police officers on February 11 in Francistown.
The state alleges that the two worked together and arrested one Menje Phiri.
State prosecutor Semakaleng Mazibane applied for the accused to be denied bail because investigations in the matter are ongoing. Mazibane said that the investigations officer in the matter left for South Africa yesterday (Sunday) to ascertain if the accused are South African cops or not. Nyoni pleaded with the court to grant him conditional bail because his family is suffering because of his incarceration.
He said: “I am a family man with kids who are going to school. My kids are suffering since there is no one who is looking after them. I am sorry for what happened. I also do not think that the investigations officer will find any information relating to the charges I am facing.”
Zithu also pleaded with the court to grant him bail because his mother is hospitalised since there is no one looking after her.
He begged the police to forgive him if there is something wrong he has committed. Nyoni and Zithu’s words did not go down well with Principal Magistrate Dumisani Basupi.
Basupi asked them that since they have not pleaded not guilty to the charges why should the state forgive them if they have done nothing wrong.
“You tend to give the impression that Botswana is a country that people can just come to and ask for forgiveness. There are a lot of discrepancies in what you are saying because you are pleading for forgiveness while simultaneously denying that you have committed any offence,” said Basupi.
The magistrate acceded to the application made by the state to further remand the accused in custody to allow police to wrap up their investigations. The accused will appear in court on March 16.
In his testimony during his initial appearance, Nyoni said they had been following a Tanzanian man who had used his sister as a drug mule. Nyoni said his sister had since died after swallowing drugs.
He claimed they took Phiri to a police station for questioning. On arrival at the police station, he and his friend Zitha were instead arrested and charged with impersonating police. “What can we take from him? All I want is information about my sister’s death,” Nyoni told the court during his bail application. Zitha said he merely accompanied his friend.