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BDP Councillor to be tried for assault

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A case dating back over four years has returned to haunt former Molepolole/Lentsweletau Sub District Council Chairperson, Botokanyana Motoroko.

The 56-year-old Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) member is accused of assaulting Thamaga West Councillor, Tona Molatedi Selala on 16 November 2015.

Motoroko appeared before Molepolole Magistrates Court last week, where his trial was set for July next year.

He is charged with beating up Selala during a tea break at Kweneng District Council Chambers following a heated council debate on the Matsha College tragedy, which had occurred three days earlier.

In one of the darkest chapters in Botswana history, nine Matsha College students lost their lives when the overloaded cattle truck transporting them home overturned.

As well as nine fatalities, over 100 pupils were injured in the incident that created a national outcry.

During the council sitting, Selala, 38, had demanded to know why students were still being transported in trucks when government had long outlawed the practice.

However, Motoroko felt is was too soon to discuss the matter – a view which led to a heated argument between the two politicians, who were eventually called to order.

It seems the simmering tension continued through to the interval, reportedly culminating in a furious Motoroko punching Selala above his right eye.

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) member was left bleeding heavily as fellow councillors separated the two men.

Four years later and Motoroko, who retained his position as Lentsweletau West councillor at last month’s general elections, finally had his day in court.

Although he requested the trial be set for January 28-30, 2019, much to his dismay Motoroko was told the dates did not suit the court.

“I am a councillor and these four years the prosecution failed to appear. May the mention be on June 2020 so that I can progress with my duties. Their hands are so tied that they cannot deal with this matter,” argued the BDP councillor, who accused the prosecution of dragging their feet.

Court instead set December 17 for mention, with the trial scheduled for July 23rd, 30th and August 3rd, 2020.

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