Murder suspects turn court into battleground

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LOBATSE: Two Lobatse men accused of raping and murdering a middle aged Botoka ward woman, yesterday exchanged harsh words before Lobatse senior magistrate, William Modise.

David Sibanda (24) and Otlhomame Setshwano (26) face two counts of rape and murder. It is alleged that on the night of September 3, 2017, the duo attacked a woman at her house in Botoka ward. They are alleged to have tied her hands behind her back and interchangeably raped her before murdering her and hiding her corpse under a heap of clothes.

The woman was reported missing by her colleagues at work. When pleading for bail Setshwano urged the court and investigation team to speed up their processes since he was innocent. “I am innocent and jail is not conducive. I don’t know anything about this offence. I want the police at least to bring forward evidence that links me to the offence,” he said.

On the other hand, Sibanda requested the court to set a nearer date for their bail. “We need bail, we thought the magistrate handling this case will be present today, but we are disappointed, we request the court to set nearer dates,” he said.  His sentiments did not seat well with his co-accused who aggressively warned him of including him in his requests. “I don’t know this man, he must stop saying ‘we’ he was alone when he was doing his things, he should talk for himself,” he said.

Sibanda said he was shocked as to why his co-accused would say he was not at the crime scene.

“I told the police that I was with this man, that’s how people talk when they want to clear their names. He must stop talking like I have implicated him, he must stop denying,” Sibanda said.

Yesterday the court was scheduled to make a ruling on the accused bail applications, but the matter could not proceed since the substantive magistrate, Mareledi Dipate was absent. Prosecutor in the case, sub inspector Boitumelo Chinyenge of Woodhall Police Station informed the court that the ruling would be delivered on October 19.

“Today was scheduled for bail ruling since the presiding officer is absent today, we are hopeful that the ruling will be delivered in the next court appearance on October 19 hence we subsequently plead for extension of remand of the accused,” he said.

When giving testimony against granting the duo bail recently, the investigator in the case detective Gabanagae of Woodhall Police Station said the woman was found two days after the incident after police forced entry into her house. According to the investigator, the woman was found with a cloth staffed inside her mouth. In another matter, new trial dates are yet to be set in a case in which Barolong senior court representative and third in command, Kgosi Mompati Gallaxy Marumoloa is accused of causing havoc, disturbing public peace and nuisance behaviour.

Allegations are that on February 12, 2017 at Goodhope Customary court, Kgosi Marumoloa hurled explicit insults towards his subordinates over allegations of back stabbing. The accused is also alleged to have threatened to use violence against the complainants.

The case was schedule for trial before Dipate yesterday but it could not continue due to his absence.  October 20 has been set to agree on new trial dates. Marumoloa is on bail. State is expected to call over five witnesses.

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