A Zimbabwean facing unspecified criminal charges in Botswana this week stunned the Selebi-Phikwe magistrate and the gallery when he appeared in the dock in an old Botswana Police Service uniform after threatening to turn up in underwear, claiming he had nothing to wear.
The Mmegi newspaper reported on Friday that the Zimbabwean, Isaac Dube, was given the police attire after making the threats to appear in court in his underpants.
“The Zimbabwean appeared in the dock wearing the old police uniform that is currently being used by special constables,” the newspaper reported. The magistrate, Goratile Moremi, who was shocked by the accused’s dressing, had no kind words over the issue.
She demanded answers from the prosecutor, Sub-Inspector Kabelo Mozanywa, whom she asked what would have happened if the accused had escaped in that attire and used the uniform to arrest people or to perform other police duties.
“This is an insult to the police profession and the uniform,” the magistrate fumed. “Even when you took the oath, you swore that you would respect that uniform you are wearing and wear it with pride. This (what you have done) will make members of the public lose confidence in the police uniform.”
Moremi added that if she were the attorney for the accused, she would sue the prosecutor for damages.
She warned Mozanywa to be aware of the implications of giving accused people police uniforms.
The angry magistrate then ordered Police Inspector Nicolas Kadiatla, who was present in court, to investigate the matter and give her a report.
In his defence, Mozanywa explained to the court that the accused did not have clothes to wear hence he gave him police attire.
The Zimbabwean reportedly told the court that he could do anything with the uniform like selling it to criminals when he is freed from prison.
The case which Dube was appearing on did not take off as the magistrate stood it down and remanded him in custody to a yet to be advised day to address the issue of his clothing.