Cat causes drama in Gaborone courtBy MTOKOZISI DUBE in Gaborone | Thursday, March 22 2012 at 19:10
There was drama Monday in a Francistown courtroom in Botswana capital Gaborone, venue of the trial of a suspected Zimbabwean shop breaker, when a black cat bolted out of a tumbling ceiling and charged at the trial magistrate.
According to a Botswana weekly, the Sun, the feline landed in the public gallery with a loud bang, before fearlessly charging in the direction of magistrate Peggy Madandume.
Spectators and judicial workers immediately ran out of the courtroom in fear.
When the cat jumped onto the magistrate’s bench, she also ran for dear life with prosecutors and defence lawyers also taking cover.
The court session had to be stopped for over 15 minutes with everyone standing outside the complex in fear of a repeat episode.
The magistrate’s escort tried to scare the cat away, but it would not move. Instead, it jumped onto a case file that the magistrate was using at the time.
After everyone had gone outside, the cat slowly exited the room.
Police officers were left with the task of rounding up accused persons, who almost took advantage of the chaotic situation.
Mr Kgaodi Maleke, a witness, described the incident as alarming.
“It’s not funny because we all know black cats are associated with witchcraft, so when such incidents happen, it’s quite frightening,” he told the Africa Review.
A court assistant said they had long complained about the crumbling ceilings and the risk of having creatures stay there.
“The ceiling is in a terrible state of disrepair, making it possible for anything dangerous to get up there and hibernate. It would not come as a surprise one day if a snake is found up the ceiling,” a bench clerk told the local Sun.
Some time last year, a man facing a charge of shop breaking reportedly threw a water-glass at the same magistrate.
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