CoA throws out rapist’s appeal

22nd November 2017
Rapist's case thrown out of Court of Appeal Source:The Midweek Sun


A man who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for the 2010 rape of a woman in Kgalagadi District, failed this week in his bid to overturn his conviction. Obed Wamodimo who was found guilty by a magistrate in Jwaneng was hoping that the Court of Appeal this week will free him. In his application Wamodimo raises the issues of having an unfair trial.

He states that although at the commencement of the trial he had informed the trial court that he preferred to use Sekgalagadi language, this was ignored and instead the trial was conducted in Setswana which was translated into English.Dismissing his application Justice Monametsi Gaongalelwe said even though the applicant proceeded with trial court he has never raised the language issue.

“Besides, he never at any stage complained of not understanding Setswana. To crown it all in arguing this application through a Sekgalagadi interpreter provided by court he never alluded to the issue of the trial having been conducted in a language that he did not understand,” said Justice Gaongalelwe. He said even though the applicant said his mother tongue is Sekgalagadi it does not require the trial to be conducted in one’s mother tongue. “From the way the applicant conducted his defence at the trial it is clear that he understood Setswana though not his mother tongue.

This conclusion is amply buttressed by the fact that in arguing this application he never alluded to the issue,” said Justice Gaongalelwe. He said the applicant’s approach ignores the well-established principle that a criminal trial is not to be conducted like a game of chess where the umpire simply watches the game to ensure that the rules are observed without making any input himself. “A judicial officer in a criminal trial must act as the administrator of justice to see to it that justice is done. In this case the trial court analysed the entire evidence in a proper manner. “There was no misdirection whatsoever. The evidence implicating the applicant can only be described as overwhelming. On such basis the proposed appeal has no prospects of success,” added Justice Gaongalelwe.




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