Benson Mochine Modibedi, a former teacher at Mathiba Primary School in Maun has had his three-year jail term reversed by a Francistown High Court.
Just over two years into a three-year sentence passed by a Maun Magistrates court for alleged indecent assault on 18 students, the 38-year-old Modibedi this week sighed with relief after Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo nullified his conviction and sentence.
The charge sheet indicates that Modibedi molested 18 pupils at the same school who were aged between 9 and 12 during the year 2010 up to November 2011, exact dates unknown.
Upon sentencing, the Magistrate had ordered that each of the counts, which included 12 strokes of the cane, should run concurrently on the 3rd of September 2015 and were backdated to 25th August 2015.
In his appeal, Modibedi argued that the trial court failed to fully analyse the evidence led by witnesses.
He further argued that the trial court erred in concluding that he indecently assaulted the complainants.
The appeal aborted hearing on several occasions following its roll call on August 11th due to requests for postponements on both sides on account of a failure to adhere to the schedules.
Justice Nyamadzabo further held that there were also contradictions between what the child witnesses told the court about where the alleged assaults occurred and what their parents testified to.
“I have pointed out these few inconsistencies and contradictions in the Directorate of Public Prosecution’s case and there are others. All when viewed, this cumulatively calls into question the appellant’s guilt.
“There being in doubt in the DPP’s case in respect to the appellant’s guilt such doubt is resolved in his favor,” concluded Nyamadzabo.