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Apparent mentally ill man arraigned for breaking store windows

It was a blue Monday in Molepolole Magistrates Court this week, as an apparent mentally ill youth was brought before court facing five counts of malicious damage to property.

26-year-old Keeagile Nnini Mokanyane is accused of willfully and unlawfully causing damage to the windows of Charlics Department Store on five separate occasions.

The incidents are said to have taken place between 15 January and 10 June, causing a total value of P27, 700 in damages.

Escorted by Criminal Investigating Department (CID) officers, the accused shuffled into the court gallery, his bare feet shackled together and his tattered blue jumper badly stained and far too small for him.

To add to his dramatic entrance, Mokanyane threw his mask away upon entering the courtroom.

When his case was called, the suspect walked to the dock making gurgling noises before sitting down in the corner, bowing his head and coughing.

The presiding Chief Magistrate, Goabaone Rammapudi-Lesedi then requested Mokanyane be given a mask, at which point a CID escort promptly fetched one and forcibly masked the accused.

Unlike other matters, the charge sheet was not read out. Instead, the Prosecutor Assistant Superintendent, Uyapo Koketso proceeded the case by making application that the accused be taken to Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital to test his psychological fitness.

“The accused is terrorising one shop, when he wakes up every morning he goes to the shop and starts throwing stones on the windows. The issue is causing conflict as members of the public might take law into their hands,” added Koketso.

The Magistrate advised the prosecution to always avail one of Mokanyane’s relatives to accompany him during his future mentions.

Rammapudi-Lesedi further ruled that the accused be sent for medical examination to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial. She ordered he be remanded at psychiatric hospital or prison, ‘wherever it shall be found suitable for him’.

Mokanyane, who was arrested this Sunday, is due to appear for mention again on 27 August.

The Lekgwapeng ward, Molepolole native hastily walked out of court and joined the other accused as they were escorted to the waiting police vehicle.

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