SDA pastor back in court for sex worker’s murder

Pastor Pelonomi Marvin Radihephi

Police yet to complete investigations used condoms to be tested for DNA

DNA test from a used condom is expected to be used to either link or exonerate a Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) pastor from a suspected murder of an alleged Zimbabwean commercial sex worker who was found dead in her house in Maun on Christmas eve.

The married pastor, 38-year-old Marvin Pelonomi Radihephi, is suspected to have killed 48-year-old Warricious Bhunu after he allegedly solicited sex services from her.

Appearing before Maun Magistrate Court on Tuesday this week, Radihephi’s attorney, Charles Tlagae, requested that the DNA results be brought forth within reasonable time as the delay would have adverse effects on the life of the pastor.

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“The crux of the matter can be resolved by the DNA report,” argued the defence attorney.

Tlagae’s contention was that even though Radihephi has not been proven guilty before court, already some members of the society have declared him as such and he therefore requested prosecution to speed up the process of bringing the report and evidence to court.

“For us to take the burden off his shoulders is to resolve this matter as soon as possible,” emphasised Tlagae.

Although Radihephi has been charged with murder, Tlagae told the court that the police have not yet done basic preservation of evidence and yet the place of incidence has been contaminated.

“No preservation of scene, no finger prints have been taken, no tyre marks, no foot marks, all these things have not been done. These things are very worrisome,” further contended Tlagae in court.

However, prosecution from Directorate on Public Prosecutions (DPP) has explained to court that they were yet to take statements from some witnesses and that the forensic results were not yet out.

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Tlagae therefore expressed concern that Radihephi was facing such a serious charge yet he was never called for a confrontation meeting at the police station where he would have faced the witnesses.

“The police are yet to get statements from witnesses, and those said witnesses have already read newspapers!”

The matter was postponed to March 28th, with prosecution advised to be ready to give a full update on when they submitted the samples to the forensic lab in Gaborone.

This was after Tlagae suggested that the cause of delay in lab results may be due to delay from investigators to submit the samples for tests.

Tlagae had told the court that the forensic lab had informed him that it takes two weeks at most for the results to be released after the lab received samples.

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