Botswana paramount chief asks state to withdraw flogging chargeBy MTOKOZISI DUBE in Gaborone | Thursday, May 17 2012 at 14:40
Botswana’s Bakgatla paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela II has pleaded with prosecutor, Susan Mangori to seek advice from her superiors to have his criminal charges withdrawn because Bakgatla royal are bankrupt.
The controversial traditional leader appeared before Broadhurst (in Gaborone) Chief Magistrate Christopher Gabanagae this week.
Kgafela and several other Bakgatla traditional authorities are facing charges of unlawfully flogging 13 people with a switch on the back, causing bodily harm.
"Ms Mangori go and talk to the director of Public Prosecutions, Leonard Sechele, Attorney General Athalia Molokomme and the minister; tell them that I request that the cases against me be withdrawn,” he pleaded.
He said he is ready to reconcile with the victims and work towards uniting the country.
"Yes, I appreciate that the relationship between us and the state has been acrimonious but we are ready for reconciliation,” Kgafela submitted.
Kgafela’s plea came after Gabanagae dismissed an application by Kgafela and his co-accused to have the matter referred elsewhere for trial.
The magistrate was not convinced that security fears expressed by the state when the case commenced have been put to rest.
Several other people are set to be charged for the floggings at the next court appearance on July 5. The state has already pointed out that eight more people would be charged thereby increasing the number of the accused persons to 22.
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