Murdered taxi-driver case goes to High Court

Gofaone Koogotsitse

Mohamed Sadiq Tajbhai, a 33-year-old man accused of killing a taxi driver, remains in custody, as his case has been forwarded to the High Court by the Molepolole Magistrates’ Court.

Tajbhai faces a total of six charges, including murder, theft of a motor vehicle, malicious damage to property, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and unlawful possession of illicit drugs.

The details of the murder case indicate that on January 24th of this year, Tajbhai met the taxi driver, Ofitlhile Ofitlhile (40), at the Borakalalo Choppies supermarket in Molepolole.

Tajbhai requested a special trip to his residence, but upon reaching the destination, he reportedly became reluctant to pay the taxi fare.

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This resulted in a violent confrontation, during which Tajbhai allegedly brought a gun from his house and opened fire on Ofitlhile, who was demanding payment.

After the shooting, Tajbhai is said to have fled the scene in Ofitlhile’s silver Toyota Corolla taxi, which he later set on fire and abandoned just outside the village.

A week before the case was transferred to the High Court, Principal Magistrate Solomon Setshedi denied Tajbhai’s bail application.

Magistrate Setshedi observed that the accused was facing severe charges and was not a suitable candidate for bail. He stated, “It is well-established that the offenses were allegedly committed while the accused was on bail in another case before Extension 2 Magistrates’ Court. This clearly indicates that the accused has little regard for the law.”

Magistrate Setshedi further noted that the charges against the accused were of a grave nature, and there was a risk of flight if he were granted bail.

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Earlier in March this year, Tajbhai had been convicted by the Extension 2 Magistrates’ Court for the unlawful discharge of a firearm.

He was ordered to pay a fine of P2,500 immediately or face a prison term not exceeding 18 months.

This conviction stemmed from an incident on August 29th, 2019, in Gaborone, Extension 10, where Tajbhai discharged a firearm without reasonable cause in a manner likely to cause injury to others.

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Tajbhai’s defense attorney, Winnie Masitha, is expected to apply for bail in the High Court.

During the bail ruling, she requested the court to expedite the committal process, allowing her client to exercise his right to apply for bail in the High Court.

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