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BDF arsonist seeks bail pending appeal

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Bonno Ikanyeng

 

A month after being slapped with an eight year jail sentence and P4.5 million compensation for razing down Botswana Defense Force (BDF) barracks at Area S camp in Francistown two years ago, the convict is challenging her sentence.

Bonno Ikanyeng, 33, a Guiding and Counseling teacher at Pandagala Junior Secondary School in Tutume is now seeking bail, pending appeal ruling which is expected to be delivered at the Francistown magistrates court on February 26.

The educationist had pleaded not guilty to the single count of arson.

However, she was convicted by Francistown senior magistrate Dumisani Basupi on overwhelming evidence by the prosecution.

On Tuesday, Ikanyeng was back before the same magistrate seeking bail pending appeal.

Through her lawyer, Kabelo Gaonyadiwe, Ikanyeng told the court that punishment she received is too harsh.

According to her, the conviction she received is like double punishment since she is expected to compensate the government and the affected soldiers after spending eight years in prison.

Gaonyadiwe told the court that the convict is likely to lose her employment as a teacher.

“How is she expected to compensate the government after losing her source of income which is teaching?” rhetorically enquired the lawyer.

Gaonyadiwe confidently told the court that there is a high likelihood of the defense’s appeal succeeding.

The defense lawyer added that the process of the appeal is likely to take a long time bearing in mind that there is a backlog in the judiciary system.

He said the delay will result in the convict serving a substantial part of her jail term.

In opposing the application, Mompoloki Gaboiphiwe, prosecuting the matter said the evidence led by the state during trial against the convict is watertight and warranted her conviction without fail.

“There are no prospects of success in their appeal,” opposed Gaboiphiwe.

She said the convict became morbid jealousy after finding her husband, who was a soldier with BDF at the time, not at home.