A Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) agent, Obopeng Seitshiro, has been acquitted of a criminal charge for allegedly shooting and injuring a club bouncer in Gabane.
Seitshiro will have his criminal charge erased from the public record after he convinced the court on Tuesday that he acted in self defence.
The Intelligence officer who has had the charge of ‘grievous harm’ hanging over his head since 2014, told the court that he had shot at the club bouncer to protect himself from a mob attack from the bouncer and his crew.
Seitshiro confirmed that on the fateful day he had visited The Magic Club in Gabane in the company of two of his friends but remained outside the club as he was on standby.
He told the court that he decided to remain outside as it was so noisy inside that he would not have heard his phone ring had he been called for duty.
He further told the court that even his dress code was not appropriate for him to get inside the club as he was on standby for work.
According to his evidence, trouble began at around 04.00 am when he tried to call his two friends who had left him outside, asking them to go home as it was already morning.
The DIS officer said he approached the club bouncers who rejected his request to get inside to look for his friends.
Rejecting his request, according to the DIS officer, the bouncers grabbed and strangled him and he fell down. As they man-handled him he said he could hear them saying legodu (referring to him as a petty thief).
According to Seitshiro, his pistol fell to the ground as he fell and he picked and cocked the weapon hoping they would leave him alone but they continued to assault him.
He said he tried to tell them he was not a petty thief but an officer of the DIS but they were having none of it.
He told the court that his initial thought was to shoot a warning shot in the air but was afraid the bullet might reach one of the people attacking him and kill them.
He said he then decided to shoot on the ground and only used one out of the 10 rounds of ammunition.
In his evidence, the club bouncer told the court that he was attacked whilst he was on duty on December 26, 2014.
He said that the DIS came by the gate entrance holding four cans of beer but he denied him entrance because alcohol from outside was prohibited.
He further testified that the DIS officer, after being rejected,l came back again this time in an aggressive mood.
The club bouncer further told the court that he then forcibly took the bottles from the officer and pushed him outside and he fell to the ground.
He said it was then that the officer whipped out the gun from his pocket and pointed it at him.
According to the bouncer he tried to disarm the DIS officer after he shot him on the thigh.
When delivering judgment, Magistrate Tshepo Thedi, noted inconsistencies in the evidence of the seven state witnesses.
Thedi noted that there were inconsistencies with the state witnesses from how the accused tried to enter the club, to the shooting incident as well as the injuries.
According to the Magistrate she was not convinced that the DIS did not act in self defence.
“Each of these inconsistencies on its own might appear minor and insignificant, but when they are all considered together against the defence made by the accused that he was severely beaten up by the complainant (Club bouncer) and his co workers that he sustained broken ribs, and that he did not have an option but to release a trigger in order to stop them from killing him, one cannot but come to the conclusion that the evidence given by the prosecution is no way superior to the explanation given by the accused for his actions.”
The Magistrate further noted that “It has to be remembered that the accused has to satisfy the court of his defence on a balance of probabilities and the explanation for the inconsistencies in the prosecution evidence may well be that they have something to hide.”
The court freed the DIS officer noting that the state failed to negate the defence on self defence raised by the accused.