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Judge liberates murder accused AFM pastor

Publishing Date : 15 August, 2017


Gaborone High Court Justice Dr. Zain Kebonang granted murder accused Mochudi Apostolic Faith Mission Pastor, Mooketsi Mogomotsi bail this Friday.

The glass-eyed Mogomotsi stands accused of soliciting the murder of his wife Dianah Ompelege Mogomotsi. He was arrested on 3rd of April and slapped with the murder charge on the 5th. In ventilating his arguments Mogomotsi’s attorney Karabo Masuku stated that they had argued at the lower court that Mogomotsi is a pastor and a community leader. He furthered by stating that he also, by virtue of being a pastor, is a marriage officer and offers marriage counseling sessions.

He also argued that Mogomotsi is the sole guardian to his children, he is a Motswana and that he needs constant care and medical attention for his injuries. Furthermore, he noted that the prosecution will suffer no prejudice as they have already searched Mogomotsi’s residence and have in their possession all the evidence they deem important to their case. “They stand to suffer no prejudice because they had already searched his house and are in custody of all evidence they wish to have.” Masuku postulated.

Masuku further argued that there will be a real risk that the disgraced clergyman can be jailed for an offence he hasn’t committed if he his incarceration continues, arguing that the Investigating Officer relied merely on suspicion when arresting the Mogomotsi. However, Justice Kebonang granted bail to Mogomotsi on amended conditions that he report to the police every fortnight. He further stated in his conditions that Mogomotsi surrender his travel documents to the police and if he wants to travel abroad he can make a request to the Mochudi police station commander.

The prosecution had earlier requested that Mogomotsi be liberated on a P2000 bail amount with sureties each paying the same amount and that he report to the police each Friday. However, Kebonang responded to the prosecution that “it is either you want to give him bail or you don’t.” Moreover, he stated that he was guided by the principle of innocent until proven guilty. He also took offence with media reporting on the case stating that he views recent media reports in a dim view as they had sought to influence public opinion.

“The media can build or break a society and now the whole commentary about the pastor is a negative one. You even wonder if there is an agenda behind that. The publication has been brought to my attention and the whole idea is to paint the accused in a negative light but the constitution states that one is guilty unless proven guilty,” Kebonang stated amidst affirmative murmurs from Mogomotsi’s supporters. Mogomotsi’s supporters had filled the Gaborone courtroom to capacity and engaged in warm embraces, celebrating the freedom of their pastor. Outside the court they burst into song.

Kebonang however stated that his decision should not be read with suspicion. “I also want to make something clear. I sit here with an open mind. I am not being insensitive to the plight of others. I am loyal to the constitution and I am alive to what has been written and it doesn’t affect me anyhow. I don’t want you to leave here and think that I was sensitive or insensitive to others. I am guided by the principle of innocent until proven otherwise by court. The court admitted Mogomotsi to pail on his own recognisance and ordered him not to interfere with any state witnesses or any ongoing investigations. He was also ordered not to commit any offence or similar offence while on bail.



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