FRANCISTOWN: Two men who allegedly impersonated police officers pleaded for a relaxation of their stringent bail conditions during a court appearance of Friday.
The duo Botlhasitse Gabotlhaloswe and Gosekwang Ngwabi pleaded with Principal Magistrate Dumisani Basupi to lessen the conditions to allow them to attend trial.
Last week, Basupi ruled that the two should pay bail of P1,000, bring one surety who shall each pay P500, report to Francistown police every Monday between working hours, not interfere with state witnesses and attend court when required. He explained that since the matter was serious in nature, the accused should be given stringent bail conditions since offences of impersonating police officers were becoming prevalent in his jurisdiction.
Gabotlhaloswe and Ngwabi are said to have impersonated police officers on January 9 at the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) circle, where they allegedly swindled cash from Zimbabwe nationals Lindani Ncube and Kagiso Cube, who were on transit to South Africa. The duo allegedly produced a police notebook and asked for the complainants’ passports. The two were arrested after police received a tip-off from a member of the public who complained that plain clothed police officers at the BMC circle were asking for bribes from Zimbabweans without passports.
Inspector Mengistu Chigala told court that investigations in the matter were complete and the state would call four witnesses to testify against the accused.
“The accused will be served with statements of all witnesses except the statement of the investigating officer which we are yet to obtain,” said Chigala.
He also said they did not oppose the accused’ being granted bail on the above stipulated conditions.
Gabotlhaloswe and Ngwabi have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The two, who are yet to find attorneys, also complained that they were kept in police custody for more than the statutory 48 hours. The two will appear in court again on January 29, 2015.