Suspected Copper Cable Thieves Granted Bail Variation

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The Maun Magistrate’s court has granted bail variation for the quartet that was allegedly found in possession of copper wires suspected to have been stolen in January this year.

The four, Stephen Motlaleng, Phemelo Refilwe, Hellen Wanji and Netsai Manika who are all out on bail were allegedly found with 26 bags containing coppers wires at the Makalamabedi veterinary gate by officers on duty during a routine search on the 26th of January 2023. The accused persons are alleged to have loaded the bags in a bus travelling to Gaborone on that fateful day.

They have since pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Appearing before Maun Magistrate Keneilwe Kgoadi recently, the accused persons pleaded for them to report themselves at Maun police station once every month instead of fortnightly as previously ordered by the court.

The accused persons argued that reporting fortnightly is financially challenging and also affecting their day to day hustle. Kgoadi subsequently acceded to their request and granted them the bail variation.

Meanwhile the prosecution has since pleaded with the court to be given a longer period to seek permission from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to prosecute the matter.  The state added that they are also awaiting one statement from another witness being a police officer. 

In their previous mention, both accused persons had nothing much to say rather than pleading not guilty of the offence. Three of the accused persons being Motlaleng, Refilwe and Wanji were on bail Manika while was remanded.

In the previous mention Manika (fourth accused) was granted bail to join her other co-accused persons. This came after prosecution did not oppose her bail application with the investigating officer (IO) Omphile Meraka of Maun Police noting that the accused has two minor children aged 14 and 16 who she left unattended since her arrest. 

Meraka was convinced that Manika is not a fleet risk as she has been staying in Shashe as her place of residence for the past five years.

All the accused persons  were initially given bail on condition that they report to Maun police fortnightly and that they do not commit a similar offence while on bail and to provide one surety.

They will appear in court again on the 31st August 2023 for status update.

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