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BDF arsonist pleads for bail

ACCUSED: Kgolagano

A Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldier who gutted Maun barracks with fire and killed another soldier in his sleep has applied for bail.

The 29-year-old Lance Corporal, Thabang Kgolagano was not present in court on Wednesday as he had just arrived from a 14- day mandatory quarantine in Francistown. His attorney Andrew Johannes was in court to advance his plea.

Opposing Kgolagano’s bail application, investigating officer Dikai Nkape argued that it was too soon for Kgolagano to be granted bail because investigations were still at an infancy stage.

The Barracks that burnt down in the inferno housed 25 soldiers including Kgolagano and the deceased, Victor Watlala.

According to Nkape the prosecution was afraid that if granted bail some of the soldiers might want to retaliate for the loss of their properties that had burnt to ashes.

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Nkape further revealed that seven out of the 25 soldiers were still undergoing counseling and releasing Kgolagano on bail would open old wounds.

Seeking Kgolagano’s bail, Johannes explained that his client couldn’t tamper with investigations because,“The remaining soldiers who were said to be out of Maun at the time of the incident are only going to talk to prosecution about their properties that were lost in fire. Whether the accused is in jail or released in bail their answer is going to be the same.”

He alsoargued that had his colleagues wanted to take the law into their hands, they could have done so at the time of his arrest.

“His colleagues are the ones that led to his arrest; they did not harm him anyhow, so why would they want to retaliate now? Johannes asked.
The matter has been set for October,18th, for bail ruling.

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