LOBATSE: The son of Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Lone Thabang Kgathi and three others have been given another 30 days to prepare for their defence after trial in the cocaine possession charge failed to commence on Thursday.
Kgathi, (23) of Broadhurst, Tumisang Tlhaelang (24), Kgosietsile Dihutso (25), both Phakalane residents and Alphious Raditladi (25) of Block 5 were busted at a roadblock in Pitsane village allegedly in possession of 41 units of cocaine.
The accused were detained whilst in transit from South Africa where the substance was allegedly purchased.
The trial failed for the third time in a row because there was shortage of court reporters. The accused did not attend.
An insider close to the case said there was prior communication to the accused persons attorney, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae that trial would not commence on Thursday, hence the absence of the accused persons.
The prosecutor in the case, Segomotso Moganetsi of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) briefly pleaded with magistrate Thekololo Letsholo to set new dates where new trial dates will be set.
Accused are expected to appear before court on November 12 and they are all on bail. In another matter, two Gaborone men who are charged with an attempted murder of a police officer, motor vehicle theft and robbery have expressed discomfort over merging their charges into one charge sheet. Tshepo Batshabane (22), Tshwanelo Tshimologo (34) and Thabo Dube (32) were arrested on August 15, 2016 during a shootout with the police at roadblock in Lobatse. Dube was injured on the left hand and admitted at Princess Marina Hospital.
The accused are alleged to have robbed Barcelos restaurant at Hillside Mall in Lobatse of both cash amounting to P5,000 and customers’ cell phones were confiscated from the victims on the night. Before the restaurant attack, the two are said to have robbed Amos Mugufo his Toyota Corolla at gunpoint at BMC estates in Lobatse. The vehicle, allegedly used in the robbery, was later retrieved at Ipelegeng CJSS the following day. The prosecutor, Emang Lizibo of Lobatse DPP said they were still in process of analysing whether all the three charges could be merged into a single charge sheet.
“We are still considering whether we could merge the charges against the accused persons into a single charge sheet so that they may be tried before one magistrate. We are still considering some aspects ofthe law in that regard hence we plead for extension of remand of accused persons in custody,” Emang said. Tshimologo said he was in shock as to why the charges would be merged into one sheet.
“The prosecution is clearly playing mind games on us. We were the first to ask court to merge the charges into one charge sheet but the prosecution was against the idea. They are the same people who now wants to merge the charges. I really don’t know how that would happen because the attempted murder charge which I don’t know anything about is under Woodhall Police whilst the robbery charge is under Lobatse Police Station. I understand that both this cases have their own investigating officers, they have their own magistrates and their own witnesses.So I am still clueless how that would work,” he said.
Tshimologo, who has been remanded in custody for the past 12 months further pleaded with prosecution to speed up finalisation of the matter since jail is not conducive.
Next mention is on December 14.