Two car theft suspects who feared torture this week begged a Francistown Magistrate to order police officers to take them straight to prison and not anywhere else.
Emmanuel Isaac Mapholo (31) and his partner in crime Obonye Mopedi (29) alleged that the law enforcement officers were beating the living daylight out of them, in some bush around Francistown.
“I wanted bail because I have goats out there to look after. But now that you have denied us bail and I know from here these officers will not take us to prison but to some bush first where they will beat us up,” said Mopedi, who had denied the charge and claimed he didn’t know how to drive a car.
“I plead with your worship to tell them to take us to prison and not anywhere else,” lamented the accused who hails from Dukwi.
As if that was not enough, Mopedi’s co-accused Emmanuel Mapholo asked how one could not admit an offence when one was being tortured during investigation.
“These officers say they are investigating but in the process they beat us when we deny being involved or being ignorant of the crime. Because of the pain inflicted on your body, one ends up admitting to an offence they didn’t commit,” Mapholo said.
“They beat us on our backs, under our feet and slap us across our faces. But I know we aren’t supposed to be tortured,” he added.
The two suspects are alleged to have stolen a white Toyota Hilux last Saturday night, from a yard in Francistown’s Block 1 location.
The vehicle was found on Monday dumped at Mathangwane River, along the Francistown- Maun highway.
Mapholo who has another pending car theft case was denied bail together with Mopedi as investigations were still underway.
“I’m yet to get statements from witnesses in Sebina and Dukwi, where the two accused come from. I am afraid if given bail, they would harass and interfere with my potential witnesses,” Detective Sub Inspector Rogers Mbulawa told the court.
“Furthermore, the owner of the stolen vehicle has not been identified yet. He is on an official trip in the Bobirwa area and I’m expecting him anytime,” said the investigating officer.
When denying the accused men bail, Magistrate Dumisani Basupi said: “The charges the accused are facing in my view are serious in nature. Another aspect which makes this case worse is that the first accused has a pending case, whose elements are similar in nature.”
“I find it appropriate to give the police enough time to wind up their investigations. You will remain remanded till the 21st of July,” he ordered.