Botswana: Court Confirms Trial Dates for Alleged Traffickers

| July 28, 2016

The Gaborone Village Magistrate Court, in conjunction with the prosecution and the defence, have confirmed trial dates for two South African nationals facing a single count of promoting trafficking in persons as August 2 and 4, 2016.

The confirmation of trial dates were done on July 26 during a status hearing of the matter.

The dates were arrived at following a failed bid by the accused to be granted bail in March this year by Village chief magistrate, Mr Mompati Taolo, who took over the station from Ms Linah Oahile-Mokibe, now in Molepolole.

The accused in the matter are Hanamantsi Jakobus Lekena of Masacani Mega, Ramatlabama, in South Africa, who works as a cleaner at Palms Hotel and Antoinette Relebohile Nthoba of Pimville Zone 5 in Soweto, South Africa, who is a butchery operator.

In the past, Nthoba used to weep uncontrollably whenever she appeared before the court, but she has since become accustomed to the court environment as she now freely engages with prison warders escorting her and the general public.

According to the charge sheet, Lekena and Nthoba on or about March 04, 2016 at Tlokweng Border Gate, acting together and in concert, promoted the trafficking of two females aged 20 and 23 years from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Gaborone on transit to South Africa by providing recruitment materials, transportation and transfer facilities.

Nthoba's lawyer, Mr Friday Leburu has on several occasion failed to persuade the court to grant his client bail while Lekena, who is unrepresented, has time and again requested for bail, saying he could never abscond because that would be a fruitless exercise particularly that Botswana and South Africa have an extradition treaty.

In the meantime, the alleged human trafficking victims were said to be housed somewhere in the town pending the finalisation of the trial.

Source: Botswana Daily News.


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