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Accused persons want to change pleas

09 Sep 2023

Two of the three foreign nationals accused of smuggling forty males into Botswana have informed the court that they would like to change their plea from guilty to not guilty.

Two Zambians, Francis Mutale(46) and Evans Kalulu (35)  as well a Zimbabwean national, Artwell Manyeruke (35) appeared before the Nata Magistrate , Ms Lesego Lekgwere on Thursday where  Mutale and Kalulu wanted to change their pleas to not quilty and  Manyeruke maintained his plea of being guilty of smuggling persons contrary to the Anti- Human Trafficking Act of 2018.

The facts of the matter are that on August 15 at or near Ngwasha Veterinary Gate, along A3 road the accused persons acting together in common purpose smuggled forty males from Zambia into Botswana using a goods truck.

The two Zambians are represented by Mbiganyi Mizha of Mizha and Attorneys, who told the Magistrate court of the accused intention to change their pleas from guilty to not guilty contrary to the plea they made on their first appearance before court.

Attorney Mizha said their hands were still tight to make changes now since they had just been notified by the prosecuting officer, Sub Inspector Themba Amos that they intended moving the case to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

He thus noted that they were going to wait for the amendment of the charge sheet before entering the not guilty plea.

Earlier on, Sub Inspector Themba explained that the matter was scheduled for reading but due to the complexity of the case they were transferring it to DPP.

He noted that they would also make some changes in the charge sheet of the accused persons.

The accused persons will return to court on September 20. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Goitsemodimo Williams-Madzonga

Location : Nata

Event : court

Date : 09 Sep 2023