Defence Attorney, Kagiso Jani has accused the state of deliberately dragging a case in which his client, alleged SADC poaching kingpin Dumisani Moyo, faces a single count of unlawful possession of a rhinoceros horn.
Moyo, a 52-year-old Zimbabwean national, was arrested in January 2018 along the Francistown/Orapa junction.
Police allege that when they apprehended Moyo, along with others not before court, he had a rhino horn in his possession.
At the time of his arrest, Moyo had been on the run for five years, having fled when given bail in a similar case.
Despite his history, Moyo was granted bail again in June 2018.
Initially Jani had applied for his client’s acquittal, claiming the state was stalling in the matter.
To his surprise, the case took another twist on Monday.
Francistown Magistrate, Lebogang Kebeetsweng ruled she does not have jurisdiction to preside over the matter, as the offence carries a lengthy jail term, which she does not have the power to enforce.
“The offence carries a maximum jail term of 15 years and a fine of P10, 000,” noted the Magistrate, adding she will refer the matter to her principal, Chief Magistrate Dlamini Ngandu for directions on the way forward.
The news did not go down well with Jani.
“My client now smells a rat on how his case has been handled and he has since asked me to write to the Administration of Justice to carry out thorough investigations about the case,” Jani submitted.
He appealed to Kebeetsweng to refer the matter to the High Court for determination.
The case has been adjourned to the 2 May for status report before Chief Magistrate Ngandu. Meanwhile, Moyo remains on bail.