A teenager who allegedly stole a vehicle in the village of Marrobela and entered Zimbabwe through an unlisted entry point has been remanded in custody.
After successfully entering his home country with the stolen double cabin Nissan bakkie, 18-year-old Nqobile Siziba’s luck was cut short when the vehicle got stuck in a river.
A Francistown Magistrate’s Court heard that on October 11, Siziba stole the vehicle belonging to Mothusi April and entered Zimbabwe illegally overnight.
On entering Zimbabwe, the teenager tried to cross a river but the vehicle got stuck in the sand.
A curious passer-by then called the Zimbabwean police and when they arrived at the scene, Siziba fled and returned to Botswana.
He was then arrested on October 14.
The investigating officer in the case, Meshack Mosika, pleaded with the court to take Siziba into custody while the investigations were still ongoing.
“The accused was not arrested until the evening of the 14th as a suspect for car theft. He has no travel documents or permanent residence here in Botswana. The motor vehicle in question is in a police station in Zimbabwe and we have since asked Interpol in Gaborone to facilitate the repatriation of the vehicle, ”Mosika pleaded.
He also said he has since liaised with their counterparts in Harare and noted that the repatriation process will take some time.
Mosika added that he also had to travel to Zimbabwe to record statements from officers who collected the motor vehicle.
“So I think the accused is at risk of absconding and if he gets bail he is unlikely to meet the bail conditions, so the charge he faces is very serious, “Mosika said, opposing the bail request.
The accused was also accused of entering the country illegally.
For his part, the accused teenager claimed that he did not steal the car, but took it without the owner’s permission and was unfortunately arrested.
“The next morning I called him to tell him I was sorry. I then went to see his wife so that we could go to the police because the owner of the car is in Gaborone, ”he said.
Siziba’s defense, however, did not convince the magistrate since he placed him in pre-trial detention pending police investigations.
He will be back in court on November 2.