Case against Agnes Setshwantsho postponed to January 11th

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The case against Agnes Setshwantsho, accused of two counts of murder, fraud and defeating the ends of justice, has been postponed to 11 January for re-examination of the investigating officer, Sergeant Keshi Mabunda by the state.

Mabunda was cross-examined by the defence counsel on Wednesday. He maintains that Setshwantsho must not be granted bail, as she is a flight risk. It is also alleged that Setshwantsho threatened a correctional officer, at the centre where she is currently held. The court also heard of an investigator from a bank, who allegedly visited Setshwantsho in prison without informing the investigating officer on the case. Setshwantsho allegedly opened life insurance policies fraudulently in the names of her over 40 immediate and extended family members. She is accused of killing her niece who was insured for R3 million and her son, covered for R6 million.

The Tactical Response Team surrounded the investigating officer Sergeant Keshi Mabunda as it believed his life might be in danger.

“Sergeant Mabunda’s role in handling high profile cases has earned him exposure, accolades and recognition. But at the same time has exposed his identity to everyone including possible suspects that he may be investigating to solve cases where people are killing relatives for insurance payouts. This is an extra measure that the SAPS has put in place because he deals with these sensitive matters and the high-profile cases that he is solving expose him in the media domain. So, it’s easy to identify him,” says Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, SAPS spokesperson.

However, the defence says the state is exaggerating.

“We have appeared before this court on four different occasions. The accused was being minded by female police officials, without the assistance of TRT. Now the state wants to sensationalize things. They want to create an impression that we’re dealing with this special case. Their sensationalization of this case has gotten out of hand,” says Adv Nhlanhla Mahlangu.

During cross-examination, Sergeant Keshi Mabunda revealed that an investigator from one bank visited Setshwantsho at the holding prison cell without informing him.

Setshwantsho is only allowed visitors on Tuesdays while the said investigator of the bank, or its impersonator visited on Thursday. Mabunda says this highlights security concerns

“Last week on Thursday I was phoned by DS personnel in Mafikeng saying that there was a visitor who wants to see the accused. They wanted to check with me if I’m aware, I said no I’m not aware of that particular person. When the information was communicated to me, they said it’s an investigator from Nedbank,”

It was also alleged that Agnes Setshwantsho is threatening the correctional officer who is expected to be called as a witness.

“The witness the defense is referring to, I did not want to put this on record. The last time the court requested me to indicate the witness that is going to testify. There are threats against that witness, from the accused and we are going to testify on that. That is why the witness is not here today,” says Prosecutor Adv Ntendeleni Tshinyani.

The bail hearing has been postponed to 11 January for the re-examination of the investigating officer, Sergeant Mabunda by the state. Setshwantsho will remain in custody until her next court appearance.