The Maun Magistrates Court this week issued a warrant of arrest against former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Ngami Branch Chairman, Kabo Kurusa for failing to appear in court for the judgement of his rape case.
In a surprising turn of events, Kurusa on the other hand had produced a communication from the Clerk of the Court informing him of the postponement of the judgement to July 25
Kurusa who is also a Tawana Land board (TLB) member, failed to appear for judgment on Monday. This led to the State Prosecution applying for a warrant of arrest against the accused person and Maun Magistrate Gaone Bagopi subsequently issued the warrant.
Kurusa has said he is surprised to hear about a warrant of arrest against him, arguing that to his knowledge the case was rescheduled because the presiding Chief Magistrate, Thebeetsile Mulalu was said to be on emergency leave.
He revealed that they received correspondence from Maun Magistrate Chief Clerk that the matter will therefore be called for judgment on the 25th of July 2022. Following the development, which clearly throws doubt over the validity of the warrant, it will be seen how the matter will unfold.
The correspondence addressed to State Counsel read, “Be kindly informed that judgment regarding the above mentioned case (CMMMN-000070-21/ The State Vs Kabo Calibre Kurusa that was scheduled for the 11th of July 2022 must unfortunately be rescheduled. The presiding magistrate, His Worship Mulalu T.C will be on emergency leave from the 04th of July to the 15th of July 2022. The matter will therefore be called for judgment on the 25th of July 2022. Any inconvenience resultant is regretted.”
Kurusa has since through his attorney, Mishingo Jeremiah filed an urgent application before the Maun High Court for stay of his warrant of arrest. The matter will be heard this morning before Judge Bugalo Maripe at 9am.
Kurusa is alleged to have on the September 6th 2019 forcefully had sexual intercourse with the complainant who he had earlier on the same day given a lift from Gumare to Maun.
Kurusa who at the time was a Board Chairperson of Sekgele Society (a rehabilitation centre for children with disabilities) was reportedly on an official trip to Maun along with his two colleagues, a driver and the board secretary.
It is alleged that after their arrival in Maun, the complainant proceeded with the trio to Botshelo Guest House to book accommodation. This is where the rape incident allegedly took place in Kurusa’s room on the night of the same day.
Kurusa has however pleaded not guilty to the charge. In his defence during trial, Kurusa maintained his innocence that he did not have sexual intercourse with the complainant who was reportedly aged 18 years at the time of the alleged incident. He however confirmed that the complainant did enter his hotel room at Botshelo Guest house on the night of the 6th September 2019.
“I did not invite the complainant into my room, I found her there with Madise waiting for me as I was busy making dinner reservations for myself. I ended up making another reservation for Madise and the complainant as I had agreed with him,” Kurusa said.
The accused person noted that the complainant spent around one hour in his room though he did not spend much time alone with her in the room.
Kurusa claimed that few minutes after Madise left the hotel, he gave the complainant an amount of P200 as taxi fare to go home after her aunt had called the accused person questioning the whereabouts of the complainant.
“The company car arrived as the complainant was about to leave so the driver took her home, I did not demand back the P200 taxi fare I had already given her,” Kurusa told court. The accused person revealed that he only got to know about the rape case when the police came to arrest him around midnight that same night.
During trial proceedings, the state revealed that the complainant told court that the accused person had locked her in his room and later forced her to undress and had sexual intercourse with her. It is alleged that the accused person who was using a condom at the beginning removed it.
The accused person will know his fate on the 25th July 2022 when Chief Magistrate will deliver judgement on the matter.