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“I was at a traditional doctor’s house” – robbery suspect tells court

REMANDED: Phomolo Nkwe
REMANDED: Phomolo Nkwe

In a major breakthrough for the police, five out of the seven suspects of a 2018 Molepolole government revenue office robbery have finally been re-arrested.

The case was registered before court on January 22nd, 2018 but later withdrawn because the accused had absconded while on bail.

Appearing before the magistrates’ court this week, the latest suspect to be nabbed, 24-year-old Phomolo Nzothi Nkwe, claimed that he had missed court appearances because he had been sick since 2019 and had been admitted at a traditional doctor’s house for treatment of an ailment he couldn’t reveal.

The suspected armed robber said he had evidence to prove his claims but failed to produce the same when called to do so by the court.

“You are standing there, you’re not dying. Why didn’t you go to the police or come to court?” asked the magistrate sarcastically.

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Nkwe, together with six others: Letsibogo Ntshoto (29), Gofaone Ramashi (27), Tsogo Semadi (30 – now deceased), Malebogo Kesentseng (41), Kelekgonne Gabanapelo (29) and Keneilwe Gopolang (28), not before court, are each facing two counts – one of robbery, which happened on January 4th, 2018 at Boswelakoko ward in Molepolole village.

Their charge sheet states that, “Acting jointly with common purpose, they robbed the revenue office the sum of P383,325.55 belonging to the government before the time of such robbery used actual violence”.

On another count of stealing from a person, Nkwe, together with his co-accused during the same date – January 4th, 2018 – still at Boswelakoko ward acting jointly stole a Nokia 210 valued at P200 and a Mobicel cellphone valued at P500 being the property of Onneile Ofetotse, a security officer.

According to the police, Semadi was reported dead in South Africa towards the end of last year.

The suspects allegedly used the stolen money to buy 3 second hand BMW cars, which have since been seized as exhibits.

The robbery occurred after the seven accused allegedly tied security officers before gaining entry into the revenue building.

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It is alleged that they entered through an unlocked door and used explosives to blast the safe before disappearing with cash.

The court considered Nkwe a flight risk and remanded him in prison till his next mention scheduled for October 27th, 2021.

Meanwhile, the police are still on the hunt for the one suspect who is still at large.

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