In a dramatic court session, Lobatse Magistrate's Court came to a standstill last week when an offender in an assault case resorted to extreme measures to disrupt proceedings.
The accused person stripped naked to delay the court process and feigned sleep during the session.
The 39-year-old accused, Mogorosi Korae, was in court facing charges of assaulting a magistrate and a police officer, totalling four counts.
These charges stem from an incident in 2022 when he appeared at the Molepolole Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Kefilwe Resheng. During this appearance, Korae insulted and physically attacked the magistrate, abruptly leaving the accused dock to assault her by strangulation.
In the first count, Korae was charged with common assault. He allegedly unlawfully assaulted the magistrate on May 17, 2022, by tripping her from behind.
The second count pertains to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. It is alleged that on or about May 17, 2022, in Boswelakoko ward, Molepolole village, Korae "unlawfully assaulted Mabedi Mapote with a fist on the forehead, causing injuries".
The third count charges Korae with assaulting a police officer while the officer was in the execution of his duties.
In the final count, Korae is accused of resisting arrest. The trial for these charges was scheduled to begin last week.
However, dramatically just before the court session was set to begin, Korae stripped naked in protest. He had requested that the presiding magistrate, Gofaone Morweng, recuse himself from the case. When asked to provide reasons for this request, Korae attempted to leave the courtroom, hurling insults as he began to undress.
The police subsequently restrained him, putting him back on the accused dock. As the trial commenced, Korae pretended to be asleep and refused to participate in the court proceedings.