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‘Reckless’ boat operator gets bail

IN TROUBLE: Kgomotso Siolwe

A boat operator at the centre of a freak accident that claimed two lives in the Chobe River last Saturday was granted bail by Kasane Magistrate Thato Ramaja on Tuesday.

24-year-old Kgomotso Siolwe appeared in court to face a single holding charge of Reckless and Negligence Act.

Particulars of the offence state that on the 28th of November along Chobe River in Kasane, being in charge of a boat with 11 passengers on board, and without any lawful excuse, the suspect drove the boat in a ‘zig-zag’ manner.

This, according to the charge sheet, caused the boat to submerge in water resulting in the death of two passengers.

The 12-seater boat capsized and submerged in the Chobe River, dragging two passengers with it to the depths of the river.

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A SAD ENDING: One of the bodies

While the rest were pulled to safety, a 31-year-old man from Maun and a 36-year-old man from Mahalapye drowned.

Their lifeless bodies were pulled out of the river after hours of searching. Their bodies are at the Kasane Primary Hospital mortuary.

Granting Siolwe bail, Magistrate Ramaja also ordered that the young man should enter into a bond of P5, 000 payable upon breach of bail conditions.

The accused was to immediately go for counselling, three times a week at Social and Community Development Office in Kasane.

He was further ordered to provide two adult citizen sureties who are blood relatives to sign P5, 000 bonds each.

In a brief interview with The Voice, Officer Commanding, Senior Superintendent Thari Senwelo said at the moment it is still too early to know what punishment could befall the Daewoo boat operator should he be found to be in the wrong.

“Reckless and Negligence Act is just a holding charge. Officers are still to interview eyewitnesses and other people who were on the boat. Depending on the evidence gathered, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions would advise on the recommendations forwarded to them – that’s when we can know the right charge,” explained Senwelo.

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The accused will be back in court on 12th January 2021.

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