State witness faces the music

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JWANENG: Arnold Rapholo, who was given a chance to escape a robbery charge that attracts 10 years imprisonment, this week failed to give satisfying evidence before Magistrate Basetsana Keakantse and he was reinstated to join other accused in the dock immediately.

Rapholo was to relate events that led to the stealing of a generator, water pumps as well as assault of Jack Moilwa with the back of an axe. He said on February 17, 2015, he met with the other two accused, Dimpho Ghannie and Boikobo Tumisang and they agreed to go and steal a generator in Lefoko settlement.

Rapholo agreed to borrow a donkey cart and parked it some metres away from the yard to load the stolen items.

He said he could hear someone screaming from the yard of the complainant. “I could also hear the accused telling the complainant that they are police officers, before they assaulted him”, he added.

After hearing that the police were looking for him, he surrendered himself to the police the next day. During cross examination by Tumisang, Rapholo failed to reconcile his testimony and his police statement as well as the confession he wrote before a judicial officer. He ultimately said he was forced to write what he wrote at the police station with no thorough explaination to what a confession statement means and he asked that both statements should not be used in court.

When quizzed about his credibility as a witness, he confessed that he should be taken as a liar before court.

Tumisang also shared the same sentiments that the accomplice witness was not credible and his evidence should be dismissed.

Prosecution led by sub-Inspector Edwin Supang also alluded that the law prescribes that an accomplice witness should satisfy court by relating evidence that led to committal of the offence. He said in this case, the witness failed to convince court and applied that he be reinstated and join the other accused persons in the dock.

Tumisang also threw out an application that Rapholo should go through trial alone since he did not prepare for trial of which Keakantse did not grant, arguing that it would cost court time and resources as the court will be dealing with two trials based on similar facts. A charge sheet was read to Rapholo and he pleaded not guilty to the charge and trial was set for January 25-27, 2016.

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