SA woman in Botswana court for illegal possession of ivory


News 24

Date Published
Gaborone – A South African woman and a man from Botswana have appeared in court in Maun for alleged illegal possession of ivory weighing 52.4kg, the Ngami Times newspaper reported.
Thandie Kelekgetetse, 33, from KwaZulu-Natal, and Kganetso Chapi, 33, from Shakawe, appeared before Maun Chief Magistrate Taolo Mompati on Thursday.
On 19 December, Kelekgetetse and Chapi were allegedly found in possession of ivory, the newspaper reported, citing court records.
Kelekgetetse also faced a charge of illegal possession of diamonds.
On 10 December, she was allegedly found in possession of unpolished diamonds at Matembe village in the Okavango sub-district.
The diamonds weighed 2.10 carats and were valued at Botswana Pula 863.39 (about R1043.06). She pleaded not guilty to the charge.
On a third count, she is accused of entering Botswana at an ungazetted entry point at Ramatlabama in January 2002.
In her defence, Kelekgetetse stated she was travelling with her parents and did not know she was entering the country at an ungazetted point.
The prosecution asked the court to keep Kelekgetetse in custody as she was a flight risk, being a foreigner.
The court granted the request. Chapi was granted bail.
Their trial is expected to begin on 5 March.