No Freedom for Rape Accused Cop

Cathrine Moemedi
LOCKED UP: Constable Makgetho

A former police officer who was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for raping a Shakawe Senior School student two years ago has been denied bail pending appeal by a Maun Magistrates Court.

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Constable Urban Rodgers Makgetho was accused of luring the girl to his place on October 17, 2021, where he forced himself on her and later dropped her off at school. The girl confided in her friends about the ordeal and the matter was reported to the authorities, leading to Makgetho’s arrest.

Makgetho appealed his conviction and sentence at the Maun Magistrates Court and applied for bail. He claimed that he had been on interdiction for 15 months and that this was enough punishment. He also claimed that he was suffering from depressive psychosis and that being in prison was depressing.

He further claimed that he was not given a fair trial because the court failed to inquire about his mental fitness at the commencement of the trial, as declared by a medical doctor.

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However, Magistrate Mulalo Thebeestile dismissed his application, saying that he did not have any exceptional extenuating circumstances to warrant bail. He said that Makgetho had agreed to proceed with the trial and did not raise any issue about his mental status at the beginning of the trial.

He also said that the medical report was prepared 10 months before the trial and that it did not necessarily reflect his current condition.

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“I find that all the other grounds noted in the notice of appeal are just ordinary grounds that failed to meet the test of exceptional extenuating circumstances,” Mulalo said, further noting that Makgetho had not shown any prospects of success on appeal or any prejudice that he would suffer if he remained in custody.

He therefore ordered him to remain in prison until his appeal is heard and determined.

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