Botswana wants SA to return robbery suspects

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

The Botswana high commissioner has made an urgent application in the Mafikeng magistrates' court in North West to have two men wanted for bank robbery in that country to be extradited.

Isaac Nyoni, 27, and Moses Mere, 39, are alleged to have robbed Baroda Bank in Botswana of more than one million pula.

They were arrested shortly after the robbery, but escaped from custody and skipped to South Africa.

The duo were arrested by the South African police after a spending spree last year.

Their appearance in the Mafikeng magistrates' court last Thursday was postponed and the hearing was set for Friday.

On Friday magistrate Esau Motswenyane ruled that the matter should be handled through diplomatic channels.

"The final order must come from the office of Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla because this is a very sensitive issue," he said.

Motswenyane warned that the legal channel would take a long time. If extradited the men would faces charges of robbery and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. They are in custody.