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A 42 year-old former Shakawe Police constable was this week denied bail by the Maun Chief Magistrate Theebetsile Mulalu pending his rape conviction and sentence appeal.
The ex-cop who was sentenced to 6 years in prison for a single count of rape is said to have raped an 18-year-old girl at Ndundu ward in Shakawe on the 17th October 2021.
The convict has since filed an application on a notice of motion seeking an order admitting him to bail pending his appeal of the conviction and sentence.
In his application, he argued that he was not afforded a fair trial, claiming that he stood trial despite a recommendation of a medical report that declared him unfit to stand trial.
He further argued that he has been on interdiction for 15 months and that on its own has been punishment enough, claiming that he has lost everything he had in terms of insurance investments. He pleaded that his further incarceration will be tantamount to taking a dead man to the gallows.
In his bail ruling, Mulalu noted that though state prosecution did not oppose the application by the convict, the law however is clear that non-opposition to an application by one party does not necessarily mean that the applicant ought to be automatically granted bail.
On the issue of the medical report, Mulalu noted that the report was indeed filled which confirmed the accused’s averment that he was assessed at Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital and diagnosed with depression and that he was unfit to stand trial at the time.
However, Mualalu stated that a period of about ten months had gone by since the medical report was prepared adding that it is noteworthy that the issue of the convicted person’s mental status was not raised at the commencement of trial. The report was prepared on the 27th June 2022 while the trial commenced on the 26th April 2023.
Mulalu indicated that the convict was even asked if he was ready for trial and the answer was yes.
“The court continued to the trial of the matter on that basis, being satisfied that all was in order, I still stand by that position. It is on this basis of the foregoing that I do not accept the argument that the accused person stood trial while unfit,” Mulalu said.
The chief magistrate concluded that other grounds noted in the convict’s notice of appeal are just ordinary grounds which fail the test of exceptional or unusual ground.