Tau Murder Trial Continues

| April 27, 2015

A trial in which Boitshwarelo Tau is accused of the murder of her boyfriend is scheduled to continue on April 28 before Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo at Gaborone High Court.

The case was postponed last month after defence lawyer informed the Chief Justice of his intention to challenge the appointment of district commissioners (DCs) and district officers (DOs) as judicial officers (JOs).

The postponement came shortly after a state witness, Mr Kabelo Tshekiso, who is a district officer based in Tutume Sub-district had testified that on October 12, 2011, Tau came to his office whilst still based in Kanye to record a murder confession statement.

Mr Tshekiso led by prosecutor from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Sally Boitumelo, told the court that he explained the necessary steps and procedure required of him before administering such a voluntary statement.

However, defence lawyer, Mr Gabriel Kanjabanga said he was against the procedure of appointing DCs and DOs as judicial officers.

Though he concurred with the presiding officer, Justice Dibotelo, who reminded him that these officers were appointed by the President just like magistrates and judges as law dictated and took an oath of office, Mr Kanjabanga said he was not ready to agree to the tendering of the confession statement to be used as part of evidence in the trial.

At the time, he told the court that he would therefore need time to research extensively and make a comprehensive submission before the court, noting that at the moment he did not have enough reasons to aance before the court. Nevertheless, he reasoned that the practice was outdated and needed to be dealt away with.

Tau was accused of the murder of Sinki Phuthego after hitting him three times with two stones on his head on August 27, 2011 and died two months later on October 8 at Princess Marina Hospital where he was hospitalised. She was subsequently detained at Mabutsane police station for three days before going for confession at the district commissioner’s office.

The 28-year-old Tau has since pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder and has been on bail since and her confession statement was made in Setswana and translated into English. Her statement indicated that she came voluntarily and she was never beaten nor injured by police during her three-day-detention.

The prosecution is left with five more witnesses being Mr Moeti Ranka, who said he will need a Sekgalagadi interpreter and thus prompting Justice Dibotelo to order the Registrar of the Court to secure the services of one before the commencement of the case.

Ranka is the boyfriend to Gakenasepe Morolong who testified that she saw the accused assaulting Phuthego with stones on that fateful day. She had maintained that the deceased was heavily intoxicated while the accused was on her sober state of the mind.

Others who testified are Mr Ernest Diphofu who accompanied the deceased to Jwaneng Mine Hospital and former Special Constable Segomotso Radipodi from Mabutsane police station who travelled to Mahotshwane settlement to the scene of crime and Sergeant Godiramang Dipalane, who is now based at Mahalapye police station under stock theft unit.

In another murder case, Matshidiso Sesike who was accused of the murder of her boyfriend last year in Mmopane appeared on April 24 before Village Chief Magistrate, Mrs Linah Mokibe-Oahile who ordered her next mention to be on May 21, 2015.

Earlier on, Inspector Modironyana Lekone of Sir Seretse Khama Airport police station told the court that though investigations were on going, they had since received pathology report and were awaiting affidavit from the pathologist.

Sesike is accused of stabbing to death her boyfriend Kabelo Louw of Ramatlabama whom they stayed together in Mmopane on December 13, 2014. The couple, who had a thriving hawking business at the Gaborone Bus Station, reportedly had a misunderstanding leading to the lady stabbing the deceased with sharp instrument.

Sesike, who was heavily pregnant at the time, was briefly detained before being granted bail. She has since given birth to a baby boy and now resides in her home village of Phitshane Molopo.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: News

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