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Mokete’s case pushed back again


Mohloai Mpesi

The ongoing sexual assault case against the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Paseka Mokete has been deferred again due to unavailability of Spanish-speaking interpreter.

The lengthy trial was set to continue yesterday but the interpreter who was going to translate the evidence of one Cuban-native who speaks Spanish and not English failed to avail himself. The witness is said to be the last to testify in the matter.

The case was expected to have started on January 27 but hit-snag after realizing that the witness who is a doctor needs an interpreter, when a hunt for a Spanish speaking interpreter was initiated with the date deferred to February 7 when an interpreter would have been found.          

Yesterday Advocate Motene Rafoneke sought Magistrate Peter Murenzi to postpone the matter to next Tuesday while he facilitates the availability of the interpreter whom he said is currently tight up with work commitments.

“Last time the matter was adjourned I promised to subpoena the doctor who attended the complainant and that was successfully done. The doctor was here but I must also demonstrate that she is not so fluent in as far as the Sesotho and English is concerned and a contingency arrangement was done by the Queen II hospital to send her along with her colleague a fellow doctor who will assist to interpret.

“In the past two instances that the doctor came here, it looked apparent that the doctor was committed and somebody who happens to work at the same hospital volunteered to interpret on the basis that he has the fluency of Spanish which is native language of the doctor.

“He was put on the line and I spoke to him and clearly he is committed as far as his work commitments are concerned, I urged him to try and avail himself next time when we need his services. On that basis I request that this matter be postponed to the date that will be communicated with that interpreter,” he said.

“I must indicate that maybe I will engage the DPP so that the involvement of the interpreter is formalized to avoid him coming on the casual or voluntary basis and that will show his commitment in the matter when his engagement is formalised,” he said.

However, Mokete’s legal counsel, advocate Monaheng Rasekoai confirmed that the date ought to be postponed provided the circumstances.

“We confirm that we engaged with the crown and clearly the postponement is inevitable but we would want this postponement to be qualified in the sense that the prosecution makes an undertaking that all the necessary people who are supposed to be here to complete the matter would be here.

“I say this because there have been frequent postponements in the instance of the crown on the same issue that has to do with this doctor witness. We say this advisedly because we intend to immediately upon conclusion of the evidence of the prosecution, be exploring the application for discharge after that evidence on the understanding that is the last one. It is imperative that we expedite the matter,” he said.

Mokete is charged for allegedly sexually assaulting and manhandling Policewoman ‘Makatleho Mphetho at the National Assembly premises on May 30, 2021.        

 The case is before Magistrate Peter Murenzi.

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