Matlou Maphoto each get P10 000 fine
16 May 2023
Two South African nationals, Mokgadi Matlou and William Maphoto have been fined P10 000 each for the offences of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunitions.
This followed a decision by chief magistrate, Mr Daniel Nkau of Village Magistrate’s Court on Monday to order each to pay P5000 for each of the two counts.
The duo Matlou (29) and Maphoto (43) from Lephalale Township in South Africa were arrested on or about January 23 in Gaborone Block 8 and Tlokweng respectively and were charged for unlawful possession of firearms and unlawful possession of ammunition contrary to section 9 (4) (a) of the Arms and Ammunition Act (cap 24:01), Laws of Botswana.
When passing sentence, Magistrate Nkau said the offence committed by the convicts was a serious one and a non-custodial sentence was not in the interest of the society.
However, he said the current legislation which prescribed a maximum fine of P5000 or maximum imprisonment term of three years or both for each offence was too lenient. “The court will not change the punishment but the legislators should look at that,” he said.
He said incidents of unlawful possession of firearms and unlawful possession of ammunitions were worrisome and there was a need for stringent sentences to nip the offences.
“It is common cause that arms and ammunitions in wrong hands end up committing heinous offences such as murders and robberies,” said magistrate Nkau.
As such, Magistrate Nkau said it was in the best interest of the society that those who were found guilty of the offences should be treated with contempt.
Mr Nkau also said he considered that the duo had already spent four months in custody, had pleaded guilty to the charges against them at the earliest moment and there were no aggravating factors in the commission of the crime. He further said both of the accused were first offenders.
He therefore ordered a maximum fine prescribed by the law, which he said should be paid by the end of business on Wednesday, saying in default, each would serve twelve months imprisonment for each count.
Magistrate Nkau said first offenders should be given an opportunity to redeem themselves as sometime sending them to prison could make them hardened criminals.
The state was represented by Ms Tsaone Akanyang of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions while both of the accused were represented by Mr Chalebgwa Manyapedza. BOPA
Source : BOPA
Author : Bonang Masolotate
Location : Gaborone
Event : COURT
Date : 16 May 2023