Trial dates set for Moatlhodi's 'child maltreatment' case

Pono Moatlhodi
Pono Moatlhodi

FRANCISTOWN: The trial of the former speaker of the National Assembly and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) activist, Pono Moatlhodi and two others, have been set for next year.

The state alleges that Moatlhodi, Maranyane Kebitsang and Nnyana Kebitsang acting in concert subjected Kesego Olekantse, 11, to inhuman treatment on January 30, 2019 in Tonota by assaulting him.

They are also alleged to thereafter unleashed a vicious dog to bite Olekantse causing him puncture wounds and bruises on his face and body contrary to the Children’s Act.

The trio has pleaded not guilty to the charge. When the trio appeared in court on Tuesday, the court broke into fits of laughter after Moatlhodi asked the interpreter if he looked like a female.

Moatlhodi said so after the interpreter read the charge sheet to him again to check if he still stood by his not guilty plea.

Prosecutor Gaone Miller said the state would call 12 witnesses to testify against the accused.  The trio’s attorney Martin Maeba told the court that the defence would not be making any admissions.

Chief Magistrate Faith Dlamini-Ngandu set December 3 as a date to confirm if trial dates set for February 24 and 25 next year would still be suitable.

The magistrate then warned the accused to appear in court without fail during the dates set by the court.

In June, Moatlhodi escaped jail by a whisker after he failed to appear in court as scheduled because he was attending a political party workshop.

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