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Magistrate defer Sethibes charge

20 Apr 2023

Moeladilotlhoko News Boiler director, Tshepo Junior Sethibe will have to wait a little longer to answer a case for allegedly publicising alarming information. The wait is intended to allow Maun High Court to deliberate on the constitutionality of the charge.

State prosecutor, Ms Galetlwaelwe Mokhondo on Thursday requested Gaborone Village Chief Magistrate, Mr Daniel Nkau to allow the High Court to first deliberate on the matter.

The prosecutor told the court that the defence attorney, Dr Obonye Jonas, had informed her that the case was scheduled for May 19, before Justice Bugalo Maripe of Maun High Court.

 Therefore, she pleaded with the  court to allow the matter to mention at a later date to allow High Court to deliberate first.

The 32-year-old accused faces a charge of publishing alarming publications contrary to section 59 (1) as read with section 33 of the penal code (CAP 08:01) laws of Botswana; a charge whose constitutionality he is challenging.

According to the draft order before Maun High Court, filed on September 05, 2022, Sethibe wanted the court to order that section 59 (1) of the penal code , cap 08:01 be declared in violation of section 12(1) of the constitution of Botswana and be further struck down.

Before the magistrate’s court, Sethibe was alleged to have published alarming information on his Facebook account on or about July 8, 2022, regarding the Lobatse missing boy Tlotso Karema.

He was alleged to have published words suggesting that there was deceitfulness in the manner the police handled the matter.

“ka jaana ba sepodise ba supa fa masalela a ngwana a a bonweng mo bekeng e ka di 06 July Wednesday 22, a ya go kopangwa le marapo a a bonweng ka di 14 April 2022, morago ga two weeks mme a tshubiwe (cremation), ga gona phitlho ya ga Tlotso ka gore go dirwa boferefere,” he is alleged to have stated.

Meanwhile, Ms Mokhondo shot down a request by the accused to be handed back his laptop, computer and cellphones seized during the investigations, saying they were part of the case’s exhibits.

Sethibe had told the court that the items were seized in July last year and asked if the state was not done and if they could not hand them back. The  accused will appear for mention on  September 5 this year. 2023. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Bonang Masolotate

Location : GABORONE

Event : Court appearance

Date : 20 Apr 2023