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CHARGED: Justice and co-accused

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Wheels of justice turn in Motlhabane case

Case Management Conference set for November

Gaborone Regional Magistrate, Goodwill Makofhi has set 14 November as the date for Case Management Conference (CMC) in Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Spokesperson, Justice Motlhabane’s cyber case.

Motlhabane and his co-accused, Letsogile Barupi and Oratile Dikologang appeared before the Regional Magistrate for mention on Thursday.

The three are facing four counts of publishing statements with intention to deceive persons about Covid-19 infections and use of offensive electronic communication.

State Prosecutor, Onkemetse Makale served the accused with state witnesses list and their statements.

Among others, the list includes four Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Members of Parliament and Editors Forum Chairman, Spencer Mogapi.

In their previous mention, court heard that three accused persons on or about 6 April acting together in concert published a statement through social media via Facebook page, Botswana Trending News titled: ‘Breaking, Masisi to pay BDP MPs P12 million each so that they can support State of Emergency’.

The article is alleged to have been written with the intention to deceive its readers and any other person of the real intentions and measures taken by the government to address Covid-19.

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On the second count, also on 6 April, it is alleged the trio published an article titled: ‘Possible war looming in Botswana as Masisi forces to implement State of Emergency’.

It is alleged the publication was made with the intention to deceive its readers or any other person of the real intentions and measures taken by the government to address Covid-19.

On another count, the accused persons on 22 March allegedly published an article on Botswana Trending News Facebook page titled: ‘Botswana hiding Corona Virus cases to avoid causing unrest amongst the citizens’.

The article is said to be offensive in nature and was not intended for any legitimate communication, thereby disturbing the quiet of the society.

On the fourth charge it is alleged on 25 January the three acting together in concert, willfully and maliciously used electronic communication via Facebook Page, ‘Botswana Trending’ and published a post with the heading: DCEC boss living in fear as the DISS plan to eliminate 100 billion mastermind.’

This communication is said to have been offensive in nature and was not intended for any legitimate communication thereby disturbing the peace and quiet of DCEC officer, Jako Hubona.

Makofhi ordered that the accused persons familiarise themselves with the witnesses’ statements and be back in court on 14 November for CMC.

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