Robbery suspects used donkey cart as getaway transport

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PALAPYE: The Magistrates Court on Tuesday afternoon heard that two men, who allegedly robbed Botswana Post of P349,000 near Maunatlala, used a donkey cart as their getaway transport.

The money was destined for Old Age Pensioners in the Maunatlala area. Onkemetse Moloi (53), Keoagetse Letsholo (37) and Tebogo Benkele (27) allegedly robbed the employees on February 2, 2010 armed with a firearm and knife. Letsholo has been on the run since February and the prosecution has successfully made an application for a separate trial.

The witness, Morebodi Magee, who transported Moloi and another man not before court, told Principal Magistrate, Segomotso Mothotho that he was out with friends at a popular kwa ga Mma Segaru chibuku shebeen at Leboane lands, near Tamasane village, when they saw a half naked barefooted man buying cigarettes.

"We were surprised to see this man who was not known in our area and after he left we followed him. On the way we met him in the company of accused One and they requested us to transport them to the Tamasane road. They were carrying a tastic bag with something wrapped in a white cloth inside that seemed to be heavy. They also carried another plastic bag which seemed heavy to me," he told the court.

He said that the men looked very tired, one with swollen feet, and they agreed to transport the two men and their luggage to the Tamasane junction where they were rewarded with P50. The two bags were produced as exhibits in court and were full of money - coins and notes.

However, Moloi denied ever meeting the witness saying he knew nothing about the said robbery. He said he never entered into any agreement with the witness to transport them to any place.

Another witness Keneilwe Oleseng told the court that she had sold Benkele a Nissan Primera, registration number B223AKY in January this year. She said that Benkele paid P19,000 with the understanding that the outstanding P6,000 would be paid after the registration book was changed into his name.

Oleseng explained that she received visits from The Botswana Police on February 6, who informed her that the vehicle was used in an armed robbery near Maunatlala village. She told the court that she had handed the car to Benkele, who is also her distant cousin and that on the day of the robbery it was in the latter's possession. The vehicle was inspected and admitted as an exhibit, while Benkele did not cross-examine the witness.

Meanwhile, earlier on the two men in court tried to postpone the case, with Moloi pleading ill health, while Benkele said his lawyer was also sick. However, Moloi was taken to hospital and the doctor examined him, concluding that he was fit to stand trial.

It was a bad day for Benkele whose plan to have legal representation was quashed because he had not informed the court that he was going to engage the services of a defence lawyer.

He only went to look for a sick lawyer at the 11th hour and the court was not ready to entertain any delaying tactics, Magistrate told him.

She told him that the matter has been put before court for a very long time hence he should explain why his case should precede timely delivery of justice. There was no answer forthcoming and Benkele only said he felt the court was oppressing him.

Reuben Sebetlela of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for the State indicated that he had no problem with postponement as long as Benkele was prepared to settle the bill for transportation and lodging of the state witnesses who were brought from Serowe, Selebi-Phikwe and Francistown. The case is continuing.

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