FRANCISTOWN: Justice Lot Moroka has on Monday ordered murder accused Mokganedi Galeboe to bring his lawyer to court so that his murder trial begins.
When Galeboe appeared before Moroka on Monday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) prosecutor Keneilwe Jeremiah shared with the court that on Sunday she received a phone call from Ngakaagae Attorneys who told her that Kgosietsile Ngakaagae would not be present for the trial.
“Ngakaagae told me through a phone call that he is not mentally fit to continue with the trial. I advised him to formally write a letter to this court and tell them what he told me,” Jeremiah said.
She further said: “It appears that the accused person’s lawyer has not filled anything, therefore we plead with this court to postpone the trial to May 13”.
When Moroka asked Mokganedi about the whereabouts of his lawyer, Mokganedi told the court that Ngakaagae said they would meet in court on Monday.
Mokganedi added that when he got to court he called Ngakaagae and was told that he communicated the matter with prosecutor Jeremiah to postpone the trial dates.
The accused also said that he did not speak directly to Ngakaagae, but the office assistant acted as a go-between for the two parties.
“I spoke to the office assistants who communicated to him on my behalf and told me that Ngakaagae spoke to the prosecutor,” he said.
For his part, Moroka said that it is unfortunate that Ngakaagae is not in court for the trial, because he was unfit for work due to his health.
He said that, “The DPP prosecutor indicated that she received a call from the accused’s lawyer, but there is nothing official or on record why the case cannot proceed today”.
Moroka told the accused that he has a duty to make sure that his attorney attends court.
“If he (Ngakaagae) is unable to continue representing you in court you have the right to find another lawyer. The right to legal representation is yours and you must make sure you exercise it responsibly,” Moroka said.
He set the trial commencement dates to May 13 until 15, 2019.
“Tell Ngakaagae that the court will not accept this kind of excuse next time. He cannot hold us at ransom while the trial has to continue. Come prepared to proceed next time, either you get a new lawyer or make sure that Ngakaagae is present. Come on May 13, the trial will commence with or without him,” Moroka added.
The accused person, the then 53-year-old Galebowe, on or about May 19, 2016 allegedly murdered his wife Segomotso Galeboe (nee Kgwebe) at Block 5 in Francistown by strangling her to death following a heated argument.
At the time, the accused worked as a chief technical assistant at the Central Transport Organisation Francistown depot.