Twists and turns in turn rite mall heist

Portia Mlilo
REMANDED: Four suspects appearing in court

The search for justice has taken a few unexpected left turns in the Turn Rite Mall heist, when armed robbers hit a G4S cash-in-transit van for P2.3 million on 13th October, 2021.

First, the state were sent spinning when the defence managed to get them to withdraw CCTV footage originally intended to be used as evidence.

Now, the Prosecutor, Farayo Mahwite, is stepping down after the DPP reportedly chose not to renew his contract.

- Advertisement -

Mahwite, who has opened his own law firm in Gaborone, is expected to formally withdraw from the case when the trial resumes before Broadhurst Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Twists and turns in turn rite mall heist
STEPPING DOWN: State Prosecutor Mahwite

The suspects, local lads: Mothusi Matomela, 44, and Thapelo Lekobe, 38, as well as South African pair: Mzwandile Mazibuko and Ntholephi Elliot Ntshalintshali, are all currently behind bars on remand.

Their charges include armed robbery, unlawful possession of firearms, unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of goods stolen outside the country.

The Mzansi men are also facing an additional charge of entering Botswana through an ungazetted point.

The state’s case suffered an early blow when the defence attorneys successfully argued proper procedure was not followed when the police retrieved CCTV footage from the ATM.

The defence noted the footage was recovered by Moabi Molosankwe from Hibrid Security, the company charged with maintaining the CCTV cameras at the mall, located along the Gabane Road.

- Advertisement -

They insisted Molosankwe should submit a statement and take the stand instead of Detective Superintendent Joseph Ramarea. This seemed to unnerve the prosecution, who decided to drop the CCTV footage as evidence instead.

The defence is also disputing another key item in the case – car keys to an abandoned Silver Toyota Fortuner believed to have been used in the robbery, which were allegedly recovered in Matomela’s pockets during his arrest.

State witness, Sergeant Tebogo Baebele, has told court that the suspected robbers had abandoned the getaway Fortuner at the road end.

The suspects allegedly bolted out of the car, one of them carrying a big bag, while another fired back at the police with an AK47 rifle.

Leave a comment