Following the hullabaloo of Friday’s morning drama at the Central Police Station in Gaborone where well wishers gathered in support of detained journalist Sony Serite, many reacted with shock to learn that the scribe was eventually charged for receiving stolen property.
Serite was arrested on Thursday and spent the night in jail. It is believed that his arrest was in connection with a story he wrote this past week exposing corruption at Botswana Railways. He appeared in court on Friday where he was charged together with one Abueng Sebola, a records officer at the office of the president. Sebola is charged for stealing an official document which he allegedly went on to hand over to Serite. The duo is remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear at the Extension 2 Magistrate Court on Monday.
On Friday morning journalists and other members of the public gathered in solidarity at the Central Police Station where Serite was kept but denied access to his lawyer Martin Dingake. The gatherers were blocked out of the police station whose gates were locked to prevent entry. The road passing in front of the police station was temporarily closed as the swelling numbers of people, especially at lunch time, spilled on to the road. A police helicopter hovered above the gathering crowd while police forces on the ground were reinforced with the paramilitary unit.
The charge sheet for the duo reads that on March 16th, 2016 at the OP in Gaborone, public servant Sebola stole an official file containing official documents in respect of Tsaone Nkarabeng. The documents are said to have come into Sebola’s possession by virtue of his employment. Serite himself is accused of receiving stolen property, with the charge sheet stating that on March 17th 2016 at or near the OP in Gaborone, he received from Sebola an official file containing official documents in respect of Nkarabang knowingly or having reason to believe that same official file was unlawfully obtained or stolen.
DETAINED: Sonny Serite will appear in court again on Monday