Magistrate Defrauded

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JWANENG: Efforts by two men who allegedly defrauded a magistrate, to have their case withdrawn hit a snag last week.

The 23-year-old Rueben Kasanikwa and Dikeledi Green (43) are charged with obtaining by false pretence. They are alleged to have acted together with intent to defraud and obtained a silver Toyota Hilux Surf vehicle valued at P54 000 belonging to Magistrate Odirile Mokgatle.

The prosecutor Edwin Supang stated that investigations in the matter are still ongoing and they are yet to arrest the third accused person and find the vehicle in question. However the defence  pleaded with court to withdraw the matter pending lengthy investigations. He said the state is at liberty to reinstate the case once their investigations are complete.

“To appear before court today is legal costs which are incurred by particularly Dikeledi Green whom am representing. I must emphasise that the prosecution are well protected by the law and whosoever might temper with their investigations can face the wrath of the law,” defence counsel said.

Magistrate Basetsana Keakantse noted that the case was first mentioned on September 19, 2015 and the second accused person Green was arraigned on October 13 while investigations were still ongoing. She said it is a general rule to have investigations completed before the case is registered before court. However  there are exceptional cases which are to be decided otherwise.

Keakantse said the investigating officer had indicated earlier that, he encountered problems in arresting the first accused person and that delayed the matter that was reported in February 2015 and registered in court later in September 2015.

“The court finds the case exceptional and the investigations can continue while accused appear for mentions, pending the delay in investigations because they were released on bail. Application by the defence counsel to have this matter withdrawn is hereby refused,” she said.

She also ordered that Green be given back her passport for travelling purposes, but should surrender it back to the police as soon as she returns to Botswana. March 14 has been reserved for status hearing.

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