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Sbrana urged to expedite assessment of murder accused

Portia Mlilo
SUSPECT: Thato Mantswe

Extension II Chief Magistrate Kamogelo Mmesi last week granted an order for Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital to expedite murder suspect Thato Mantswe’s psychiatric assessment.

In the previous mention, the prosecution told the court that the hospital gave Mantswe the 21st of June as the next date available for his mental state assessment.

Mantswe who has since been remanded in custody is accused of brutally killing his fiancé, Thelma Oageng in September and stuffing her body in the boot of her car.

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Giving the court the case status update, State Prosecutor Sub Inspector Batambuli Gakemoitse said there has been a new development in that during investigations, they discovered letters that they suspect were written by Mantswe.

“We make an application that court grant us an order for the accused person to provide us with a specimen for his handwriting to assist in our investigations. The accused is facing a brutal crime and there is currently an escalation of Gender-Based Violence cases hence the need to give such cases serious attention. May I ask this honorable court to further remand him pending the psychiatric assessment,” said Gakemoitse

Mantswe’s attorney Nkosana Ngwenya opposed the prosecution application saying the case has been dragging for too long.

He said his client’s businesses are suffering while he is in custody and there will be no compensation for that.

He said his client has the right to be granted bail pending trial and that he is innocent until proven guilty.

However, Gakemoitse reminded Ngwenya that there is a life lost in this matter and there is no compensation for the deceased’s parents.

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He said the accused is alive and therefore has a chance to run his businesses as soon as the court has cleared him.

Chief Magistrate Mmesi said it is critical to have the psychiatric report before she can consider granting the Mantswe bail.

She made an order that the hospital superintendent facilitates that the assessment is done on or before the 31st of December.

She also ordered Mantswe to avail his handwriting specimen to the investigating officers.

Mantswe was further remanded in custody as his case was adjourned to the 12th of January 2021 for a status update.

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