A man who lied about being a soldier in the hope that it would help him get bail has been remanded in custody, charged with 17 counts of goat theft.
The accused, Phenyo Maobi, 39, from Xhosa ward in Mahalapye begged court to grant him bail, claiming that he faced losing his job in the Botswana Defence Force if he was not freed immediately.
However, he later admitted he was not a member of the military – a lie which saw him detained until his next mention before court, scheduled for the 3rd of August.
Moabi had earlier appeared with co-accused Entsho Keesele, 47, and Keabetswe Legoreng, 24, charged with stealing 17 goats – worth a combined value of P17, 000 – from one Lesego Motsamai near Lentsweletau on the 11th of June this year.
Moabi was alleged to have stolen the animals and then enlisted Keesele and Legoreng’s help in transporting them to the butchers.
The trio were caught and duly arrested before they reached the butchery, with the goats returned to their owner.
Court proceedings took a twist however, when Moabi admitted to acting alone, revealing that his fellow defendants played no role in the theft.
On the back of this sudden confession, case prosecutor, Inspector Motshwari Mokamogo told the court, “I plead the second (Keesele) and third accused (Legoreng) to be withdrawn in the next mention and I will bring a new charge sheet for the first accused,” adding that he had checked with Mochudi police and discovered that Moabi has a pending sentence at Mochudi Magistrates court.