A Gaborone based attorney has threatened to take legal action against Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe if he does not call to order some of his police battalions who allegedly abuse office.
In particular, the said police officers (names withheld), who are stationed at Broadhurst police station, are accused of engaging in an ‘unexplainable search’ for suspects of a cyber-criminal offence.
The suspects, Federick Mathibe and Temo Tau who are co-owners of Noroc technologies made the waves earlier this year when they were accused of cybercrime, after their former business associate Monty Chiepe confiscated their computers.
The suspects have allegedly since suffered harassment handed to them by police officials based at the Broadhurst station. On one instance, Tau was detained for two consecutive nights at the police station where his lawyer was informed, upon enquiry that one of the accused officers was the only one who had information on the case.
Lawyer representing the two business men, Joram Matomela of J.J Matomela Attorneys has written to the Police Boss in two different occasions, notifying him of his officers’ behaviours, consequently asking him to bring the two officers to order.
The suspects, following their release from custody, where no charge was brought issued a statutory notice on the 18th June 2015 to institute legal proceedings against the state for unlawful arrest and detention.
“To date, no charge sheet has been served on the clients as required by the law, and as such that it is manifestly clear that the said police officer is abusing his police authority to interfere with client’s rights to live freely without fear or intimidation,” Counsel Matomela warned Makgophe through a communication dated 7 July.
He stated: “we wish, yet again, to convey our disappointment with the conduct of Broadhurst Police Station officers, in particular 2 officers in the manner they are treating clients. On the day appointed for clients to appear in court, no case was registered with the court and all prosecutors from the Broadhurst Police station and Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) were ignorant of the case,” he pointed out.
When reached for comment Broadhurst Police Station Commander Bonoso Molapisi was said to be engaged outside of the office and his phone repeatedly rang unanswered.
According to the lawyer, Police Commissioner Makgophe should call the said officers to order, otherwise he, representing clients, shall undertake legal proceedings to interdict any planned prosecution on the basis that it is malicious.
“We wish to bring to your attention that if the officer and his workmate are not called to order, their conduct will be exposed in court and tarnish the otherwise good name of your organization,” the attorney warned Police Commissioner through the letter.
Meanwhile Botswana Police Service's Senior Superintendent Dipheko Motube said they rarely receive such cases of abuse of office levelled against some police officers. In fact he said at times when they investigate on such matters they rarely find any wrong doing by such police officers.
“It’s very rare to hear such cases but we often hear them from either people talking or the media. When we investigate such incidents we never find anything out of the ordinary,” he highlighted. He was however quick to point out that: “but am not denying that it (abuse of police authority) could have happened on the matter.”
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