FRANCISTOWN: Former speaker of the National Assembly and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidate for Tonota, Pono Moatlhodi, incurred the wrath of the magistrate when he prioritised attending a party workshop over a court appearance.
Moatlhodi was supposed to attend final case management conference in a case in which he and Maranyane Kebitsang and Nnyana Kebitsang are alleged to have acted in concert and subjected Kesego Olekantse, 11, to inhuman treatment on January 30, 2019 in Tonota by assaulting him.
They are also alleged to thereafter unleashed a vicious dog to bite Olekantse causing him puncture wounds and bruises on his face and body contrary to the Children’s Act.
The accused, who are represented by attorney Martin Maeba, previously pleaded not guilty to the charge.
When the Kebitsangs attended court on Tuesday, Maeba told Chief Magistrate Faith Dlamini-Ngandu to forgive Moatlhodi for not attending court because he was attending a party workshop in Gaborone.
Maeba added that he saw an electronic mail from Moatlhodi in the morning stating that he would not be attending court, but he did not print the message because he feared coming late to court.
After Maeba said that, a totally unhappy Dlamini-Ngandu asked Maeba if he did not explain to Moatlhodi that court attendances take supreme priority over anything else.
“If Moatlhodi does not come to court when he is aware that he should be in court, the prosecution may apply for his bail to be cancelled. All accused persons are equal before the law. I don’t want to hear anything about politics,” Dlamini-Ngandu said.
Gaone Miller from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the court that the court record should reflect that if the case delays in future, the delay should be attributed to the defence.
Dlamini-Ngandu went on: “If Moatlhodi does not appear in court again during the next mention, the prosecution should apply for cancellation of his bail”.
The case is scheduled for case management conference on August 13.