A defence lawyer expressed his anger at the State for further delaying a theft case over goods valued at P68 when a key witness failed to appear. The matter has dragged before the Francistown Magistrate’s court since 2009.
Voicing his frustration Moabi Madandume told the court: “A postponement is prejudicial. My client is not of a deep pocket, and he will have to carry the burden of paying for my two days, because my days don’t go to waste.”
The irritated lawyer asserted: “The remedy is to try my client within these two days, if not then too bad for the State. We should not be seen to suffer at the hands of the State, which have put a charge over my client and have failed to do what is necessary to ensure the trial proceeds.”
Thabo Williams, 26, of Selepa in Francistown, a health assistant at Nyangabgwe Referral hospital, is charged with stealing surgical blades and syringes from his employer.
The Diamond and Narcotics Squad nabbed the accused in 2009 over allegations that he was part of a gang suspected to be trading in drugs. After failing to prove charges of drug possession and trading, Williams had the charge overturned to stealing from his employer.
Madandume went on to criticise the state prosecutors for their casual attitude. “The story by the State is unjustifiable, what have they been doing since we adjourned the matter in 2009? Justice delayed is justice denied. This is a trivial matter your worship,” he said.
In response the prosecutor stood his ground and retorted: “This case demonstrates government’s zero tolerance to corruption. We had no knowledge that the witness would disregard the subpoena. Furthermore the witness is crucial in this case, and we can’t agree to proceed as our learned counsel suggests,” he said.
The case continues on 3August.