Botswana: Court to Rule On Cab Driver Murder Case

| July 27, 2016

Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo is today (July 27) expected to hand a ruling on a submission of no case to answer which was filed by two men in a murder case of a former cab driver.

Defence lawyers, Mr Kabelo Nkwe and Ms Dikeledi Martin, who are representing Moabi Mabiletsa and Matshidiso Boikanyo respectfully, applied for no case to answer immediately after the state concluded its case on July 8, 2016.

Mabiletsa and Boikanyo are accused of murdering Mr Vincent Mopipi on the night of September 13, 2013 at Block 9 in Gaborone. They have not pleaded guilty to the offence.

Addressing Justice Dibotelo after the state closed its case, Mr Nkwe said they intended to apply for no case to answer.

Justice Dibotelo's ruling will determine whether the case proceeds to defence case or not.

Mr Nkwe had requested the court to give them enough time to file their application because they would have to consult with leading experts in the field of DNA from South Africa. He reasoned that given the fact that they were to come before court on July 27, 2016 the time might not be enough for them to compile their facts and file with the prosecution.

However, Justice Maruping said since the matter has been before the court for some time now, there was need for both the prosecution and the defence to make sure that the case was finalised.

Meanwhile, the knife which was allegedly used to commit the crime was found in Moabi and a forensic scientist with Botswana Police Service, Mr Boitshepo Bojosi confirmed that Mr Mopipi's DNA was found in it.

Under cross examination from Mr Nkwe, Mr Bojosi said the method that was used to establish the DNA was wildly used and highly reliable. He said Botswana used a 15-marker DNA system while others used a 9-marker system. He said Botswana opted to go higher so as to increase the chances of reliability.

Mr Bojosi further told the court that he conducted only one test to determine the presence of DNA on the knife and the blood sample of Mr Mopipi, who was stabbed more than 44 times by his murderers. He said although there was the presence of another unidentified female DNA sample in the knife, it does not mean that the result could be discredited.

Mr Bojosi further told Ms Martin that when conducting DNA, there was no speculation and that the system they were using has been tried and tested over time. He said a mixed DNA obtained from the knife was still acceptable, particularly that there was positive results from a blood sample of Mr Mopipi.

Source: Botswana Daily News.

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