Having spent the last five weeks in prison on remand for murder, a young mother-of-two desperately begged Francistown Magistrate Court for bail on Tuesday.
With deep, dark craters lining her puffy eyes, her fragile voice cracking with emotion as she cried for freedom in hushed, slow tones, 27-year-old Agnes Richard told court, “I am applying for bail.
“I left my children outside. And I am a Motswana so I cannot go anywhere!”
However, her rationale failed to convince presiding Magistrate, Cele Lebakeng, who noted it was far too soon to contemplate bail for a murder case that was only opened on 29 October.
“What message will I be sending to the public? Your bail application will be entertained in your next court appearance before your substantive magistrate,” ruled Lebakeng.
Unfortunately for Richard, her next court appearance was set for 23 February next year. It means she will spend the next 77 days behind bars before she gets another shot at bail.
Reportedly after a night of drinking, in the early hours of Sunday 11 October, the Francistown woman is accused of causing a horrific crash near Precious Filling Station just before Tati Siding along the A1 road. The accident led to the death of 27-year-old Molwantwa Podile, who was a passenger in the car.
Richard allegedly grabbed the steering wheel whilst her boyfriend was driving, causing him to lose control of the vehicle, which veered off the road and crashed into a truck parked on the roadside.
Although he was rushed to hospital immediately after the accident, Podile succumbed to his injuries 19 days later (29 October).
The driver and two other passengers – including Richard – all sustained minor injuries and were discharged from hospital on the day of the crash.