Fake SA cops denied bail in Botswana

By Drum Digital
02 March 2015

A Botswana court has denied bail to two people charged with impersonating SA Police Service officials, the weekly Monitor newspaper reported on Monday.

Prosecutor Semakeleng Mazibane applied for bail to be denied to Donald Nyoni and Solomon Zitha in the Francistown court because the State's investigation was not complete.

Mazibane told the court the investigating officer in the matter was due to travel to South Africa on Sunday to ascertain if the accused were South African police officers.

Nyoni pleaded with the court to grant him bail since he was a family man.

Zitha argued that he should be granted bail because his mother was hospitalised and no one was looking after her.

Principal Magistrate Dumisani Basupi said since they had not pleaded guilty to the charge, she found it hard to find why the State should forgive them.

"You tend to give the impression that Botswana is a country that people can just come to and ask for forgiveness. There are a lot of discrepancies in what you are saying because you are pleading for forgiveness while simultaneously denying that you have committed any offence," said Basupi.

In the end the magistrate acceded to the State's demand to have bail denied.

Nyoni and Zitha allegedly worked together and arrested Menje Phiri last month.

In court, Nyoni said they had been following a Tanzanian man who had used his sister as a drug mule. Nyoni said his sister had since died after swallowing drugs.

He claimed they took Phiri to a police station for questioning. On arrival at the police station, he and his friend Zitha were instead arrested and charged with impersonating police.

"What can we take from him? All I want is information about my sister's death," Nyoni told the court during his bail application.

Zitha said he merely accompanied his friend.

The two are expected to appear in court again on March 16.


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