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Robbery accused plead for liberation

Suspects in the P390 000 Molepolole Revenue robbery case are calling for their liberation from police custody as they are unlawfully detained.

The four accused Letsibogo Ntshoto, Phomolo Nkwe, Gofaone Ramashi and Tsogo Semadi, all males aged between 21 and 27 of Mochudi and Gabane, want to be freed saying their detention was unlawful as it contravened the provisions of Section 37 (1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CP&E).

The accused are said to have jointly broken into the Molepolole Revenue offices and stealing cash amounting to over P383 325 and four cellphones valued at P4 900 belonging to three security officers during the committal of the offence.

They complained that Molepolole police were denying them liberty, arguing that their detention was unlawful as there were affidavits produced by the investigating officer of his sworn evidence.

The accused persons among them Ntshoto made lengthy arguments over the fact that they were unlawfully detained based on baseless arguments raised by the prosecutor.

Ntshoto said the argument was not admissible before court as he considered it hearsay.

Ntshoto also said that prior to the submission of the sworn affidavit by the IO, procedures on their detention were not followed.

Ntshoto’s accomplices’ efforts to respond to arguments raised by the investigating officer in the form of an affidavit was denied by Magistrate Lenah Oahile-Mokibe because procedures were to be followed through the submission of written responses in the form of affidavits by the four suspects before arguments on the same could be made by both the defence and the prosecution.

The investigating office in his affidavit said the four accused persons were not suitable bail candidates because they committed the alleged offences while on bail for various offences, thus contravening the bail conditions granted by different magistrate courts.

Among the offences committed by the four suspects while on bail include shop breaking and theft and escaping from lawful custody.

The four accused, with two others not before court, were alleged to have on January 4 broke into the building and stole the said amount belonging to government.

“I have not yet arrested the other two suspects who are well known by the accused persons before court, and are not willing to assist the investigation team. When the accused persons are granted bail, it will be difficult to arrest the two suspects,” the IO report said.

The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Uyapo Koketso pleaded for further detention of the four accused persons as the police had not been able to recover all the amount involved with some of the suspects still on the run.

The alleged robbery took place at Molepolole Revenue office on January 4 where the suspects were said to have used explosives to blast the safe before disappearing with the money.

They allegedly tied three security officers at the neighbouring Roads and Transport Service and revenue offices before they entered the building.

They were each ordered to file their affidavit before February 12 and appear for arguments the next day February 13. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Kebaeditse Baitlotli

Location : Molepolole

Event : Court

Date : Feb 07 Wed,2018

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