A 37-year-old woman appeared before a Francistown Magistrate Court on Tuesday facing three counts of obtaining by false pretences.
Back in 2017, Shathani Makale is alleged to have received a combined total of P46, 000 from three different people on the pretence of selling them a plot.
On the first count, on 21 March Makale was allegedly given P8, 000 by one Grace Batumile as payment for a plot.
On the second count, dated 10 April, the accused is said to have collected P18, 000 from one Chedza Keaketswe saying she is selling a plot in Chadibe.
On the same day, the accused reportedly received P20, 000 from one Shepherd Fulata again as payment for a plot.
Makale pleaded not guilty to all three charges, begging court to grant her bail on the basis that she has children at home depending on her.
However, the Investigating Officer (IO), Oteng Kgathego of Tatitown police, told court the accused is not a suitable candidate for bail as she is a flight risk.
“During the investigations she told us she stays in Block 1 [Francistown] and Tutume village but the time we went to check on her to give her the letter to come to court she was not there. Even her mother said she does not know where the accused is.
“We disseminated the information to other police stations to help with her arrest. On the 28th June this year we got the information that she was arrested after being deported from South Africa,” said the IO, adding they are worried that if granted bail, the accused might be tempted to return to South Africa as it appears she has connections there.
Makale then told court she was arrested by Old Naledi police officers in Game City, Gaborone. “I went to South Africa to make food for my children. I go around selling clothes,” she maintained defiantly.
Nevertheless, presiding Magistrate Cele Lebakeng agreed with the prosecution – much to the suspect’s disappointment. “You may try the High Court. You are a flight risk. I will see you after 14 days. You will be remanded until then!” ruled the Magistrate, meaning Makale will remain behind bars at least until 27 July.