A Word of God Church Pastor accused of stealing eight calves from a neighbour had his prayers temporarily answered this week when Molepolole Magistrates Court released him on bail.
Disgraced 53-year-old Pastor, Albert Mogami Bashanako is one of three men charged with the theft of Thebe Tabane’s cattle, which were unbranded and valued at P24, 000.
Of Bashanako’s suspected partners in crime, Mpolokang Moube, 62, who like the Pastor is from Molopolole’s Lekgwapheng Ward, was also granted bail whilst Tichaona Mabika, 33, a Zimbabwean national working as a herdman for Tabane, was remanded in prison.
Court heard how Bashanako, who is Tabane’s neighbour at Morabane cattle post, allegedly convinced Mabika to sell him the calves.
The pastor is then said to have relocated the stolen animals to a different cattle post at some point between January and May this year.
It is said that four of the calves were marked with the Pastor’s brand whilst the other half were branded with Moube’s mark.
Appearing for the prosecution, Sergeant Marakalala revealed investigations were almost complete, though the calves have not yet been recovered.
“Accused 2 (Mabika) did not submit his travelling document, he is in the country illegally which means he has to be deported to his native country. However, I have no objection for Moube and Bashanako to be granted a conditional bail,” said Marakalala.
In his response, Mabika claimed he was assaulted by the police. However, he admitted to stealing the cows and further implicated his co-accused.
The Zimbabwean was further remanded and is next due in court on December 4.
Moube and Bashanako were released on bail on condition they report to Molepolole Police Sation on the last day of every month. The bailed duo were also made to bind themselves to the sum of P500 each.
It means Pastor Bashanako will get to celebrate Christmas a free man, as both he and Moube are not due back in court until 22 January 2019.
The man of God walked out of the court room under heavy escort of his congregates.