JWANENG: After heated arguments between the prosecution and defence lawyer, Magistrate Odirile Mokgatle was convinced that 33-year-old Kutlwano Tshikantwa, who allegedly assaulted a police officer on duty, was a bail candidate.
Tshikantwa was previously granted bail and his warrant of arrest was issued after he missed three court sessions which included a date of trial.
Defence lawyer, Kelebileone Malefo, argued that Tshikantwa had the right to liberty because he has previously informed the court why he missed one session. This was because he had to attend to an insurance company on matrimonial matters.
Malefo pleaded with court to consider the rule of innocent until proven guilty and release the accused because he is at risk of losing his job if incarcerated. “The accused does not have enough time to consult with his attorneys and it is even difficult for him to collect evidence of his previous absenteeism because his is currently in jail,”, he submitted. Malefo said the conduct of the accused makes him a bail candidate because he was never hunted but he has shown remorse for his actions and apologised. He added that this time around they are his legal custodians and they would ensure that he attends all court sessions.
For his part Mokgatle dismissed allegations that the accused missed court session because he appeared before the High Court for matrimonial matters, arguing that he failed to produce proof of such. Mokgatle said the accused gave other matters first priority than his trial thus holding the matter at ransom. He further said the accused misinformed his attorney when he said he appeared before an insurance company while he previously told court that he appeared before the High Court. He added that courts of law are advised to set trial dates and stick to them therefore the accused’s conduct is uncalled for. “How do you expect progress in this matter while your client from now and then misses court sessions and utter apologies which are not authentic?” he asked.
He said that a deterrent bail condition is necessary to ultimately make it a lesson for the public that court appearances are given priority. He ruled that the accused be granted a cash bail of P2,000, present a surety of P1,000, report to Jwaneng police every Monday and further ordered that he attend to all court sessions.
Tshikantwa is facing an offence of assault common where he allegedly assaulted Laone Onkemetse Kalakane on July 25, 2014. It is also alleged that on the same day he assaulted Mosarwa Lesaka, who is a police officer, while on duty. He will appear for trial on December 2, 2015.