FRANCISTOWN: Two Batswana women and a Zimbabwean man appeared before Francistown Chief Magistrate Mokwadi Gabanagae for unlawful possession of precious stones believed to be diamonds last Tuesday.
The trio were 38-year-old Mpho Sediba, unemployed, of Selepa, 30-year-old Tapiwa Totego, also unemployed, of Coloured area, and 37-year-old Nkululeko Moyo, a Zimbabwean, of Botshabelo Location in Selebi-Phikwe.
The three were on March 15 arrested at Francistown Super Spar shopping complex where they were allegedly found in possession of the precious stones without a licence, authorisation or exemption certificate.
Prosecutor Boikhutso Ntalabgwe asked the accused persons if they had anything to say before the case could continue, of which two of them, Sediba and Totego told the court that they did not know anything about the diamonds offence they were facing.
They said they only found the diamonds at the police offices when they were told to appear in court.
Moyo told the court that the only time he came into contact with the two women was when he received a phone call from Sediba and Totego while he was in Zimbabwe, telling him that they had diamonds and that they wanted him to find a buyer for them.
Prosecutor Ntalabgwe pleaded that Moyo should be remanded in custody because he was not a Motswana. He was said to have come into the country on January 25 and was allowed only 14 days to stay in Botswana. "He has overstayed his days and he is now an illegal immigrant," said Ntalabgwe.
Sediba and Totego were released on bail and ordered not to travel outside the country. They were also ordered to bring one surety, who is a Motswana, willing to pay P2, 000 in case the accused violated their bail conditions.
They will appear again for mention on March 30.
In another case before Mokwadi, Oduetse Moleele, 28, of Molebatsi ward in Tonota, faced a single count of uttering a false document.
Evidence before court was that on November 7, 2008 the accused was arrested at a police roadblock mounted at the intersection of A1 and A16 roads, commonly known as TNT Junction.
Moleele was driving a white car, registration number B470 AJM.
The first witness, Sub-Inspector Tlhabologo Elias, told court that when he asked the accused to produce a driver's licence, the licence he produced had a plastic cover on it.
"That is when I became suspicious that it could be a false document," Elias said. He said that the licence was showing the photograph of the accused but the names of Segolame Tommy Seno, who Elias said he knew because he once had a case of drunken driving, which he had handled.
So he (Elias) handed the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigations.
The second witness, Detective Sergeant Kebelaetse Lepai, confirmed that the case was handed to him on November 8, 2008.
Lepai said that he approached the Department of Transport officers to enquire about the licence and he was told that it (the licence) was issued to Segolame Tommy Seno on October 12, 2005.
He was also told that Moleele had only booked for a road test scheduled for November 13, 2006.
The third witness was the owner of the licence (Segolame Seno) who gave evidence that the day he lent the accused the car, but forgot to take out his licence.
The licence was produced in court as an exhibit, which Seno identified as his.
When Public Prosecutor Caleb Mbenda asked if Moleele had anything to say, he told the court that a certain Zimbabwean man was the one who made the licence for him.
The accused will appear for judgement on April 9.