- Soldier accused of setting block of BDF residential houses on fire
- Fire caused death as it gutted 25-men barracks
- Aff ected soldiers undergo counselling
A soldier accused of setting a block of Botswana Defence Force residential houses at Maun Base Camp, Lance Corporal Thabang Kgolagano, has been granted bail after an unsuccessful bid by the state to have him locked up while investigations are completed and affected soldiers undergo counseling.
The state argued that releasing Kgolagano may jeopardize the investigations and disturb the counselling of the affected soldiers some of whom are yet to receive psychological support.
The investigating officer from Maun Criminal Investigation Department, Captain Dikai Nkape, supported the DPP’s calls for denial of bail and revealed that only seven officers of 25 men whose properties were gutted by the fire had been assisted by the army.
However, the court agreed with the defence attorney, Andrew Johannes, who argued that there were slim to zero chances that the accused would tamper with evidence if granted bail.
The accused’s life, he added, was also not at risk from his discipline-oriented colleagues as they had not at any point threatened him or wanted to take the law into their own hands.
In the end, Maun Chief Magistrate Thebeetsile Molalu granted the accused bail and ordered Lance Corporal Kgolagano to bind himself with P2 500 and provide two sureties of P2 500 each.
Kgolagano was also ordered not to interfere with state witnesses, to report to Maun Police Station at the end of every month, and to attend court proceedings as and when required.
The case will continue on 15 November when the accused will appear for a status report.