FRANCISTOWN: A man whose citizenship status cannot be established owing to not having any such documents to prove he is a Motswana, was denied bail when he appeared in court on Wednesday.
The man, Boatlametse Willie, was denied bail pending trial when he appeared before Justice Lot Moroka.
He is alleged to have used force when he raped his victim in Gumare village.
Giving reasons why he should be granted bail, Willie told the court that he has been incarcerated since December 2018.
“The prosecution is denying that I should be given bail on account that I am not a Motswana. I gave the prosecution my names and national identity card (Omang) number so that they can confirm with relevant authorities that I am a Motswana.
It appears that the state has not done that. I am now staying in jail while the state keeps on postponing the matter every time the matter is set for trial,” Willie pleaded with Moroka.
Willie added that he is also asthmatic adding that conditions in jail are not conducive for someone like him who gets asthma because of dust.
“I was just denied bail based on those reasons,” said Willie.
When opposing Willie to be granted bail, prosecutor Janet Mothowakgosi said that one of the reasons the state is refusing Willie’s bail application is that his permanent place of residence cannot be ascertained.
“Even in his papers, the applicant does not show where he comes from. He has said that he is from Tonota but if he is granted bail, it would be difficult to trace him when we are not sure if he really comes from Tonota.
The other thing is that he does not have any form of identification (passport or Omang). We are not sure about his names and where he comes from. The other factor that we are praying with the court to deny him bail is the gravity of the offence,” Mothowakgosi said.
Mothowakgosi added: “The accused is charged with one count of rape and it is alleged that he used violence when he committed the offence.
If he is found guilty, he would be incarcerated which means that he may abscond from attending his trial. We therefore pray for his application to be dismissed”.
When responding to what Mothowakgosi said, Willie repeated what he said.
He said: “I gave my names to the prosecution to confirm my identity and origins. I also told them that I come from Tonota. I just went to Gumare for a job. If granted bail, I will abide by all bail conditions”.
Giving his ruling in the matter, Moroka stated that one of the reasons the state is opposed to Willie being granted bail is the fact that his origins are sketchy and not clear.
“One would have thought that having learnt that one of the reasons the applicant was denied bail is that his origins and names are not clearly known, the applicant would have brought something to court to show where he comes from in order to take the court in his confidence.
He would have been expected to tell the court the names of the Kgotla where he comes from in Tonota, names of his parents and other related factors so that when he is released on bail, he would be easily traced at those places,” Moroka said.
Moroka added: “However, he has not tendered those identification features and as such his identification is still sketchy. In the circumstances, he has not demonstrated any change of circumstances and therefore his application is dismissed”.