Maun Magistrate Gaone Bagopi has postponed trial continuation of four men accused for illegal possession of two elephant tusks, four teeth and one nail suspected to be of a lion.
The trial which was initially set to continue before Magistrate Keneilwe Kgoadi this week has been postponed to a date yet to be confirmed on basis that the substantive presiding magistrate was not available.
The quartet, Mahiriro Marenga, Sazira Ngayo, Unjepi Kandjou all from Habu and Elvis Ookeditse Mokena from Gumare are facing two counts of illegal possession of wildlife trophies.
The four men were reportedly caught on the 18th of March 2019 at Sexaxa gate along the Sehithwa-Tsau road in possession of the said products.
On the first count, the foursome were allegedly found in possession of two elephant tusks worth around P71 000 weighing 47.6kilograms while on the second count, they were allegedly on the same day found in possession of four teeth and one nail which are suspected to be of a lion. The accused persons will appear on the 4th July 2023 for confirmation of trial dates.
Meanwhile, Maun Chief Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu has recently extended the remand of a 76-year-old man of Etsha 6 accused for raping a 9 year old girl of the same village in May this year.
Particulars of the offence are that on the 29th May2023, the accused person had unlawful canal knowledge of the minor at Botshabelo Ward in Etsha 6.
It is alleged that, the complainant had gone to her friend’s place to play in the morning but later went back home alone. It is said that on her way home she was called by the accused person to his home where he allegedly dragged her into his house and raped her.
It is said that at the time of the incident the victim’s mother had left home to fetch some firewood but upon her return she found the minor crying. When she enquired what happened the victim told her that she was raped by the old man.
The matter was then reported to the police and the accused person was subsequently arrested while the victim was taken to Gumare Primary Hospital for medical attention.
Giving a status update Prosecutor Sergeant Kefilwe Senokwane pleaded for the accused person’s remand to be extended as they are awaiting a social worker’s report in order to establish how the incident has affected the child. He further indicated that they are still awaiting forensic report.
For his part, the old man pleaded to be granted bail citing that he left his property unattended. The accused person who in his previous mention pleaded not guilty to the count, prayed for bail adding that he is not a flight risk.
Mulalu however told him the issue of bail will be discussed on his next mention on the 26th June where prosecution will avail the investigating officer of the case to argue why he should not be granted bail.