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Court remands Sepopa pending evaluation

10 Aug 2023

Double murderer accused, Mogomotsi Sepopa has been denied bail pending a psychiatric assessment at the Sabrana Psychiatric Hospital. 

Making a ruling on the bail application that the defence applied for on Monday, Extension II Chief Magistrate Kamogelo Mmesi said  even though she was not a psychiatrist, she had observed that ever since the accused started appearing before her, he had hardly shown any emotions. 

“This raises the suspicion that he is still in shock. I would therefore recommend that he be taken for assessment, and the report would be used to determine whether he is a candidate for bail or not,” she said. 

Ms Mmesi also indicated in her ruling that although the prosecution and the defence had agreed that the accused could be granted conditional bail, the court still had to exercise its discretion on the matter as it had to weigh between the liberty of the accused, his safety, public interest and the interest of justice. 

“The fact that the prosecution and the defence were in agreement does not mean that the court should just rubber-stamp that. The court is still free to use its discretion,” she said. 

She also said granting the accused bail when the matter was still so fresh would appear insensitive to both the families of the victims and the society. 

“There is still a chance that the families and the society have still not come to terms with the incident. So placing the accused in society at this point may be risky for his personal safety. So the court has to balance between his personal liberty and the interest of the society and the affected families,” she said. 

Noting that the alleged offence associated with gender based violence, which is a burning issue in the society, Ms Mmesi said the court should not be too quick to grant bail in such related matters to avoid being seen to support the societal ill. 

She therefore ruled that bail for the accused would only be considered after a psychiatric report. 

Sepopa is expected back in court on August 24. 

The 35-year old Botswana Defence Force captain is accused of the murder of his wife, Bogolo Sepopa and another woman, Same Moapare on July 17 at the BDF Village camp. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Olekantse Sennamose

Location : GABORONE

Event : Court

Date : 10 Aug 2023