Shamed Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) pastor Mooketsi Mogomotsi, a suspect in the murder of his own wife Dinah Mooketsi, will this Friday evening sleep at his house again after he successfully applied for bail.
Justice Zein Kebonang, who presided over the case at the Gaborone High Court earlier today, granted the pastor bail on condition that he surrenders his passport and reports every two weeks at the police.
Suspected to be the architect behind the murder of Dinah in December last year, the pastor was arrested on April 3 this year. His arrest follows that of Thapelo Tlhase (25) and Mokganedi Porogwane (47), the two men allegedly killed the woman for a promised fee of P73 000 from Pastor Mogomotsi. The two men themselves were accomplices in a case where the beleaguered pastor was beaten to a pulp by Kobamelo Siane (28) and Keneilwe Siane (25) early this year. It was their involvement in the assault case that made the police suspicious, with new evidence linking them to the murder of Dinah.
It was then revealed that the assault on the pastor was occasioned by his failure to pay the P73 000 as promised. Both Kobamelo and Keneilwe remain in custody as well, but only for the assault charge on Pastor Mogomotsi, whose attorney Karabo Masuku today dismissed the investigating officers’ submissions as wanting and thus inconclusive as evidence to arrest his client.
Masuku also told the court that the pastor has two children to take care of, although an earlier magistrate court in Mochudi had dismissed the plea since the children were handed for care to the social welfare services. Representing the state, attorney Milikani Tiboni told court that after deliberations with investigating officers, they found no reason to oppose Mogomotsi’s bail application.
Justice Kebonang freed the pastor, noting that in the eyes of the law, he was innocent until proven guilty.
His church also maintains that their pastor is innocent. The Mochudi AFM branch actually released a statement offering unwavering support for Mogomotsi and his family. The statement, signed by one Pastor Jobe Koosmile, reads in part: “The church has a pastoral responsibility to our Pastor Mooketsi Mogomotsi, the families, the Mochudi Assembly and The Apostolic Faith Mission in Botswana. Hence the Leadership of the Church will continue visiting the families to give them the Church’s moral support.” Pastor Koosimile stated that the church would take care of Pastor Mogomotsi spiritually and morally, offering him support and counselling while he will take charge of his legal costs.
Pastor Mogomotsi was attacked by the then unknown men and was hospitalised until April 3, upon which the police took him in on fresh evidence linking him to the murder. He was charged with murder on April 5 and has been in police custody until the bail was granted to see him spend this weekend at home and probably back at his church.
Pastor Mogomotsi pictured at the Mochudi Magistrate Court last month