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What a bummer!

BUM NOTE: Mochanang


A youthful man was left to rue his wandering hands after being sentenced to three months imprisonment for touching an on-duty female police officer’s buttocks.

Although the punishment seems stiff, 30-year-old Richard Mochanang was in fact a lucky man as he had originally been sentenced to six months for the offence.

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The Mmopane man’s half-successful appeal was heard before Bakwena Paramount Chief, Kgosi Kgari Sechele III at Molepolole Customary Court last Thursday.

Found guilty of common nuisance, Mochaneng claimed the officer whose bum he groped was in fact his lover. He further declared that touching her ‘bountiful booty’ was something he had done many times before.

Outlining further reasons for appealing his sentence, Mochanang told the court he was tried without prosecution issuing him with a ‘Form 1’ and notifying him of the charges.

“I was tried while in the dark not knowing what I am being charged for. I was denied the right to language of my choice as I use Sekgalagadi and the court used Setswana. Thirdly the witnesses were all police officers, no other witness was called,” he said.

Continuing his defence and speaking in perfect Setswana, the condemned man went on to say, “Lekgotla le atlhotse kgang e ka bosupi jo bololea, kgosi o ne a ntse bogale fela (The court judged the case without enough evidence, the chief was fuming). Ditshwanelo tsame di ne di gatakwa ka dinao (My rights were stamped by the feet).”

Mochanang also argued that the complainant and the investigating officer had contradicted each other with their testimonies.

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“The investigating officer witnessed that I touched the complainant’s buttocks as we were passing each other, the complainant on her way from the tuck shop and me going to the tuck shop. But the complainant said I touched her buttocks while she was standing and not as the investigating officer stated. The evidence was not concrete which shows that the case holds no water,” he maintained.

Before passing sentence, Kgosi Kgari III noted the matter was first tried in April 15th and adjourned to April 23rd when the accused requested the presiding chief to recuse himself from the case.

Proceedings resumed five months later, on September 12th. The chief reasoned this was a long enough period for the accused to have prepared for the case even without the ‘Form 1’ being issued.

Kgari III also dismissed Mochanang’s language barrier argument, noting he had spoken in fluent Setswana throughout his appeal.

“I want to rebuke you for touching the female police officer’s buttocks whilst on duty. Now I will be lenient and reduce the sentence to three months,” concluded the chief.

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It was a sentence that left Mochanang with his hands on his head in despair – “At least he isn’t touching anyone’s bum!” noted an onlooker cheekily.

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