Our charges were made up: Sekai
Bakgatla royal, Kgosi Bana Sekai believes that many Batswana are either in jail or have suffered the hangman’s noose on made up charges.
Sekai said this to The Voice minutes after magistrate Barnabas Nyamadzabo had delivered his sentence in a case in which him, four other royals and two tribesmen were being charged with vandalising the Mascom tower in 2009.
Sekai, Kgosi Mothibe Linchwe, Kgosikgolo Kgafela’s younger brothers; Morena Mmusi and Morena Bakgatle, Kgosi Segale together with tribesmen were in the dock together with commoners; Chillis Matlapeng and Seikanelo Sebolao.
They all received jail terms and were each fined P15 000.00 for the damage of the tower. Kgosi Mothibe got six months while the rest got a year each. Nyamadzabo ruled that prison terms are wholly suspended for three years from the day of sentencing whilst the fines should be paid within three months from the day. According to Nyamadzabo if the fines are not paid within the stipulated time, the state will have the right to auction some of their property to raise the cash.
“Our case is evident that it is possible to be convicted on made up charges. As far as I am concerned we are innocent of the charges. It just shows that innocent citizens can be victims of our justice system and be taken to court for manufactured charges,” Sekai said.
Quizzed on whether he was happy with Nyamadzabo’s decision the Bakgatla royal exclaimed: “How can I be happy when I have just earned a criminal conviction from trumped up charges. This is a record that even your grandchildren will find when I am dead. There is nothing to be happy about.
Meanwhile when sentencing the seven Nyamadzabo said he had considered that the conviction would affect their future employment chances, were family men with dependents, had not had any financial gains from the alleged mischief and all but Matlapeng and Sebolao had no criminal records.
He however said Matlapeng and Sebolao’s previous convictions had little bearing on their case because they were from way back and the offences they were convicted of were not similar to the ones before court.
The duo were convicted of assault in 1985 and 1989 respectively. Sebolao was found guilty on two occasions for car theft in 2001 and is awaiting for his appeal on the cases to be heard.