Defence Attorney, Sesupo Masaka, representing the First accused- Jabulani Dube (32) in Isaac Davids murder case, has pleaded with a Molepolole magistrates court not to discriminate his client by denying him bail on grounds that he is a foreigner.
In an intense submission which drew the court attention for almost an hour and a half this week (Tuesday), Masaka said Dube has a valid residence permit and a valid work permit which means he has been staying in this country legally.
He opposed the Prosecution’s argument that Dube was a flight risk saying his client’s freedom is hindered by the fear that he might run, though the prosecution has no proof as evidence that if granted bail, he might abscond and fail to appear before the court.
“Bail is not citizen empowerment; the position of the law is that the court considers the person charged and their requirements for bail, not nationality. Apart from staying legally in Botswana, he has a 15-year-old relationship with the mother of his child with whom he stays,” argued Masaka.
Masaka applied for his client’s bail after State Prosecutor, Superintendent Daniel Katse had called upon the Investigating Officer (IO)- Detective Superintendent Diane Lentigetse, to take the stand and address the court on the status of the investigations.
Lentigetse said they were about to finish the investigations as they managed to get the report from the forensic lab and the possible statements from the witnesses.
She strongly argued that Dube is a Zimbabwean foreigner, he was staying at the deceased’s place and that the unfortunate incident led to the termination of his work permit.
“The deceased’s wife Banyenyi Davids told me that she made an application for the accused permit to be revoked. We understand he has a girlfriend at Sorilatholo where the witnesses are staying; we fear there might be tension between the accused and the witnesses which can also put his life in danger. The Second accused (Mokgalimi Keoikantse Malea (34)) on the other hand, is a Motswana from Ramotswa and may be granted conditional bail,” she said.
The defense attorney further argued that Dube should also be granted bail because it is not just foreigners who abscond to other countries while on bail and stressed that Batswana also do the same.
The court heard through attorney Masaka that the State connived in terminating Dube’s permits to trap him in the prison’s system.
Masaka said if Dube is discriminated against and not granted bail because he is a foreigner, no one should be granted bail.
He further stated that when on bail Dube will stay with his girlfriend and their son and that the state could give him a list of witnesses names so that he does not interfere with them or if there is any fear the accused’s address could be changed.
For his part, Superintendent Katse said Dube is facing a serious offense which carries a death penalty and that if his residence permit is revoked he will be forced to go back to apply for another one in his country which could be his opportunity to go forever.
The second accused (Malea)’s defense attorney Mishingo Jeremia said his client was not a flight risk as he has no adverse criminal records and if granted bail, he will stay with his parents in Ramotswa.
He set conditions that Malea can pay the sum of P2000. 00 or any other amount set by the court; provide two sureties with the sum of P2000. 00, report to Ramotswa Police every fortnight and surrender his traveling documents.
Senior Magistrate Lindiwe Makgoro agreed with the bail conditions set by Jeremia and set February 27th as the date of ruling for Dube’s bail application.
Malea will appear for mention on April 17th.