Just a week after being released from jail on bail, Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) pastor Mooketsi Mogomotsi is back in police custody after breaching his bail conditions by sneaking into South Africa to, allegedly, consult a Sangoma.
Intelligence officers pounced on Mogomotsi and his alleged brother at the Ramatlabama border post on Thursday as they were returning to Botswana from South Africa. The Botswana Gazette has established that after his successful bail application which was granted by Justice Zein Kebonang on April 28, the Mochudi based clergyman immediately set out on a mission to travel to South Africa where he is alleged to have consulted a Sangoma.
Faced with strict bail conditions that prohibited him from traveling outside the country, the pastor colluded with a yet to be named police officer to steal his passport which he had surrendered as per his bail conditions.
After being arrested at the border, pastor Mogomotsi is said to have asked to use the bathroom. When the officers went to investigate why he was taking longer in the toilet, they found him breaking his cell-phone into pieces and trying to flush it in the toilet, a highly-placed source at Immigration said.
It is also suspected the pastor swallowed the cell-phone sim-card as it was never recovered. This is despite the fact that law enforcers can access phone records from network service providers through a court order regardless of whatever evidence the pastor was trying to conceal.
Mogomotsi’s alleged brother (names withheld) and travelling companion who is a Corporal at the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) was also arrested after it was discovered he was using a passport that did not belong to him.
While he managed to use the passport and cross to South Africa undetected, lady luck was not on his side when they returned to Botswana as Immigration officials discovered that the passport he was using belonged to his other look-a-like brother.
Pastor Mogomotsi was first arrested on April 3, 2017 on suspicion that he played a role in the murder of his wife Dainah Mogomotsi in January.
He was arraigned on 5th April and was detained in prison until Justice Kebonang granted him bail on 28th April. During his bail application at the High Court, Mogomotsi’s attorney Karabo Masuku had argued that the investigating officers had no concrete evidence to charge his client. The lawyer also highlighted the fact that his client was the father and sole guardian of two children. State attorney, Milikani Tibone, had told court that after deliberations with investigating officers, they found no reason to oppose Mogomotsi’s bail application and one of the reasons the investigating officers did not oppose the pastor’s bail application was that they believed he was not a flight risk.
Jubilant Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) members burst into song and dance at the Gaborone High Court after Mogomotsi’s bail application was passed.
A Bizarre Murder Case
Pastor Mogomotsi is charged together with other 4 suspects in the January murder of his wife. The suspects told the officials that the pastor had hired them to kill his wife.
The pastor’s wife was attacked at their matrimonial home in Mochudi and died a few days later while admitted at Princess Marina hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Last month the pastor was also attacked and left for dead by the same four suspects accused of murdering his wife. They claimed to officials that the pastor owed them money for the murder of his wife. This was followed by allegations that the same suspects had broken into the church and left with an undisclosed amount of money.
The pastor has denied the allegations and sought legal assistance and the church is divided on the murder allegations.
When this publication contacted church President Pastor Jobe Koosimile to find out about pastor Mogomotsi’s latest arrest, he claimed ignorance of the incident. In fact he claimed he was with Mogomotsi when we called but refused to give him the phone so we could talk to him.
Police spokesperson Witness Boseja did not respond to enquiries despite having asked to be sent messages.