A suspect in the recent Kumakwane cash-in-transit heist, Nkgopoleng Kolagano, has been denied bail by a Molepolole Magistrate’s court.
The 44-year-old Kolagano was arrested on October 27th, just hours after a Security Systems van transporting cash from Gaborone to Ghanzi was shot at and held up by six men.
According to the charge sheet, Kolagano and six others still at large, on October 27th, 2020 (Tuesday), at Kumakwane village acting jointly with a common purpose and being armed with rifles, robbed Oarabile Jeff Koloka, Mosotho Fagolethata Olaetse, Mosimane Keborate and Gadibotsane Motlhasedi, being security guards for Security Systems the sum of P5 million and P10, 000 belonging to Security Systems and immediately before such robbery, used personal violence in order to overcome resistance.
Kolagano was arrested the same afternoon and was allegedly found in possession of cash amounting to P298, 000 in his car.
Magistrate Ike Raphael stated that he would not be able to hear the defence submission since he was not the substantive magistrate.
Despite the magistrate’s explanation, the defence attorney, Olehile Mantswe objected, arguing that ruling on his client’s bail application had already been postponed twice.
“The court stated that ruling would be delivered on November 5th, 2020 but on the day the court stated that the ruling was not ready because the magistrate had just received the file the same morning and today we are also told the ruling is not ready,” said the concerned Mantswe.
The defence attorney was also disappointed that the two prosecutors in the case, Sergeant Modise Masala and his colleague, Inspector Future Modisadife did not inform the court when the date was set that they would not be available.
He said what they are experiencing is a refusal by the justice system to protect the accused person.
Mantswe said while in remand, Kolagano was locked up with 25 others in a 6 by 5 metres cell where one of the inmates inside the cell tested positive for Covid-19, which put his client at risk.
Representing the prosecution, Sub Inspector Libumbo Lebala said the accused was arrested in possession of some money whose trail will assist the investigating team in the arrest of other suspects.
“The court should also consider the gravity of the offence, what may transpire if the accused is admitted to bail while investigations are still ongoing. We feel sorry for the position the accused finds himself in and as for the conditions in prison regarding his health, there are hospitals in prison. We believe they can sort out that issue,” explained Lebala.
When delivering the ruling, Magistrate Ike Raphael considered the prosecution’s view that that the case is a serious robbery that involved the use of firearms and that six other suspects are still at large.
“The defence counsel has failed to produce in court any medical records in support of his client’s medical grounds. The application for bail is denied and the accused shall be remanded and appear before the substantive magistrate on November 24th, 2020,” concluded the Magistrate.