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No freedom for suspected drug trafficker

Cathrine Moemedi

A 28-year old South African driver charged with Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs has been denied bail.

Thapelo Skhosana was allegedly found in possession of 29.4 kilograms of dagga at Makalamabedi veterinary gate when his truck was stopped and searched by the police on the 28th of January.

Dismissing the bail application, Chief magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu said that prosecution had convinced the court beyond reasonable doubt that there was a high likelihood that Skhozana would abscond trial if granted bail.

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“The Investigating officer expressed shock that the accused has a place of residence in Phakalane which he did not provide any address or house number for,” said Mulalo adding that the addresses were crucial to Skhozana’s application.

“The accused person is facing a serious offense in which there is a likelihood of being sentenced to prison, a high fine or even both and these factors are also likely to make him abscond even if he surrenders his passport to the state,” Magistrate Mulalo further noted.

The magistrate also highlighted that Skhozana did not have to worry about the matter dragging on for a long time before the court because investigations were already completed.

In his bail application through his attorney Lesego Phoi, Skhozana had claimed that he considered Botswana as his second home as the nature of his job dictates that he spends most of his time in this country.

He had further promised not to abscond court, if granted bail, as he had a place to stay in Phakalane, Gaborone.

However investigating officer, Lethata Mokobe rubbished that, citing that the said Phakalane residence was just an afterthought to convince the court to release him out on bail.

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The matter has been set for 14 March for a case management conference.

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