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State amends charge sheet in Justice Motlhabane case

CHARGED: Barupi, Dikologang and Motlhabani

State prosecutors have amended the charge sheet in the case of Justice Motlhabani and his two co-accused, Letsogile Barupi and Oarabile Dikologang, who are facing charges of publishing false statements on Covid-19 infection.

On Wednesday State Counsel, Wedu Mbongwe, filed a new charge sheet with an amendment of count three of ‘use of offensive electronic communication’ to ‘publication of alarming statements’.

The first two counts remain ‘Publishing statements with intention to deceive person’ while the fourth count is ‘offensive electronic communication’.

On the first count the three accused persons on or about the 6th of April acting together in concert allegedly published a statement through social media via Facebook page, Botswana Trending News titled: Breaking, Masisi to pay BDP MPs P12 million each so that they can support State of Emergency.

The article is said to have been written with the intention to deceive its readers and any other person of the real intentions and measures taken by the government to address COVID-19.

On the second count, it is alleged the three on the 6th of April, published an article titled: ‘Possible war looming in Botswana as Masisi forces to implement State of Emergency’.

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It is alleged the publication was made with the intention to deceive its readers or any other person of the real intentions and measures taken by the government to address COVID-19.

Particulars of the third count are that the three accused persons on or about the 22nd of March, acting allegedly published an article on Botswana Trending News Facebook page titled: ‘Botswana hiding Corona Virus cases to avoid causing unrest amongst the citizens’.

The article is said to be offensive in nature and was not intended for any legitimate communication, thereby disturbing the quite of the society.

On the fourth charge it is alleged on the 25th of January the three, acting together in concert, willfully and maliciously used electronic communication via Facebook Page, Botswana Trending News and published a post with the heading: ‘DCEC boss living in fear as the DISS plan to eliminate the 100 billion mastermind.’

This communication is said to have been offensive in nature and was not intended for any legitimate communication thereby disturbing the peace and quiet of Jako Hubona.

Gaborone Regional Magistrate, Masilo Mathaka, ordered that the accused should be back in court on the 8th of April for mention.

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