Serial thief wants Magistrate and Prosecutor to step-down

Cathrine Moemedi
FAMILIAR FACE: Jaka in court

Smelling a rat, a serial burglar caused a stir in court last week, demanding the Magistrate and Prosecutor to recuse themselves from his latest case as they have ‘teamed-up’ to convict him on five previous occasions.

Appearing before Maun Magistrates Court on Monday morning, 28-year-old Solomon Jaka insisted the pair have it in for him and refused to proceed with the matter until they step down.

“I cannot proceed with the trial! I have filed an application for recusal. I do not want the Magistrate and the Prosecutor to handle my case as they have tried me in five cases and found me guilty in all the cases. Even if they find me guilty in another court, I will not mind,” exclaimed the Zimbabwean.

Jaka has already served two years behind bars, convicted of five separate house break-ins. He was given two years for each count, although Chief Magistrate, Thebeetsile Mulalo ruled the sentences should run concurrently (meaning he was jailed for two instead of ten years).

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His most recent brush with the law dates back to 16 January 2022, when, along with Edison Motlakaleso, 32, and Enametse Bonang, 36, he allegedly broke into one Neil Gorham Richard’s house in Boseja ward.

The trio are said to have strangled Richard and tied him up with a rope, before helping themselves to his Huawei phone, laptop, hiking boots, computer bag, two pairs of trousers and some food items.

Responding to Jaka’s demands, State Prosecutor, Paul Basupi said although the suspect has previously mentioned his desire to have both Prosecutor and Magistrate removed, he is yet to submit this request in writing.

“The trial was set to continue with the last three prosecution witnesses, we have not been served with any documents,” explained Basupi, to which Magistrate Mulalo ordered Jaka to serve the prosecution and for them to respond within the week.

“The prosecution should file their response and we will see how to proceed after the ruling. In any case, the trial is likely to continue in August 2025,” ruled Mulalo, who is currently on study leave.

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The matter has been set for 24 June for status update. Jaka remains locked up on remand while his two co-accused are free on bail.

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