The Court of Appeal (CoA) yesterday (Friday) upheld an earlier judgement by High Court which condemned to death Matshidiso Boikanyo and Moabi Mabiletsa for murdering Vincent Mopipi in 2013. Mopipi, a cab driver was stabbed multiple times with a butcher knife to death on the 13th of September 2013 in Gaborone Block 9 location.
On the fateful night the two had called a cab claiming they needed transportation from Tlokweng to University of Botswana. Mopipi went to pick them and along the way they changed destinations saying they wanted to go to block 9. Upon reaching Block 9 the two men were said to have brutally killed the deceased. When delivering the sentence the three men panel, ruled that the accused persons on the 13th day of September 2013, at Block 9, jointly and with common purpose murdered Vincent Mopipi.
According to the evidence presented before the court, the duo used a table knife or what everyone agreed was or referred to as a butcher knife, with which they stabbed the deceased all over the body 44 times. The trio judges referred the case as one of the most heartless murders and therefore dismissed both appeals by appellants against both conviction and sentence. The court concluded that the prosecutor had correctly submitted that there are aggravating factors in this case.
“Those aggravating factors include the fact that the murder was not committed in the spur of the moment but was premeditated,” they concluded. When submitting their heads of argument, the first appellant filed that the Judge erred in convicting the first appellant on the basis of Electronic records evidence when such evidence was in inadmissible and unreliable.
The first accused person’s attorney, Tshedukane Elijah conceded that the act was not in force then. He further pointed out that the High Court erred in finding that the deceased picked more than one person and that the first appellant was one of them. He argued that the court further erred in finding that the appellant and another person murdered the deceased at Block 9 when evidence suggests that there was only one perpetrator. The second accused persons also argued that the sufficiency of evidence led to a conviction. The second argument was the unreliability of the DNA.
The second appellant’s lawyer Mshingo Jeremia further argued that the Judge erred in convicting the second appellant on the basis of the DNA evidence when the evidence was insufficient to found a conviction, and did not meet the criteria applicable for circumstantial evidence. In another case two more killers Tshiamo Kgalalelo and Mmika Mpe were this the Friday confirmed by the Court of Appeal to hang. The Ghanzi farm workers were convicted in 2017 for brutally killing and burning their employer Reinette Voster.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.