Botswana deports arson witnesses

FRANCISTOWN — Prosecutors of a  Sebina arson suspect are clutching at straws following the deportation of two key witnesses. Mgcini Ncube is charged on two counts of arson allegedly committed at the North East village last August.

Senior Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu expressed shock that the key witnesses in the case, Themba Chuma and Nanelihle Moyo, had been deported to Zimbabwe for not being in possession of passports and work permits. The police at Nkhwinya field, in the vicinity of Sebina, allegedly found the two tracking some shoeprints that the State is arguing, belonged to Ncube.

Mandla Simon of the Department of Public Prosecutions faced the wrath of the magistrate who was “seriously worried about the state’s failure to bring the two witnesses from Zimbabwe”.

Simon insisted that they were not resting on their laurels, producing a form as proof that they were liaising with Interpol to bring the witnesses.

But Mulalu quickly retorted that there was nowhere on the form where the whereabouts of the witnesses was stated.

The deportation blunder was revealed in the last court mention.

Ncube accused the State of playing delaying tactics, saying it was not the first time they promised to bring the two witnesses to court, but to no avail. 

He then applied for bail saying his children were suffering because he has been kept in custody for a long time on offences he did not commit.

It has emerged that Ncube entered Botswana through an illegal point of entry.

— Mmegi

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