Man in court for battery theft

Christinah Motlhabane
REMANDED: Shepherd Willie

In a dramatic courtroom scene, Shepherd Willie, a dishevelled Mandunyane man, hobbled into the dock at the Francistown Magistrates’ Court.

His alleged crime? Stealing tower batteries belonging to Orange Botswana.

The police apprehended him on Sunday, finding suspected lithium batteries in his possession along Zoroga Road.

The five batteries, valued at a staggering P48 000, were reportedly pilfered from Gweta and Zoroga villages.

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As the court reserved Willie’s plea, investigators continued their search for the other suspects involved in the theft.

“We plead that the accused person be remanded in custody as our investigations commence,” stated Investigating Officer, Timbone Batisani.

“We are actively pursuing the remaining suspects, who are currently on the run. Granting bail could jeopardise our efforts.”

When given the opportunity to speak, Willie professed his innocence, claiming he had been hired merely to transport the batteries.

“I received 700 pula for fuel and was paid 500 pula,” he explained.

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“I had no knowledge that I was involved in any criminal activity.”

Despite his plea, Willie found himself remanded in custody.

The magistrate ordered fingerprinting to check for any prior convictions.

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Lithium battery theft is on the rise in the country.

Just last week, a 50-year-old man from Nswazwi village was arraigned for stealing batteries belonging to Mascom Wireless Botswana.

In that case, Shathani Ntinga and two accomplices, who were not present in court, allegedly stole the grey Shoto batteries at Borotsi ward of Tonota village on May 3rd.

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