Botswana: Prophet Bonang Case to Continue November

Jwaneng — Jwaneng out-going magistrate, Mr Odirile Mokgatle has set 11-12 November as dates for the continuation of a trial in a case in which Prophet Bonang Ngwenya is accused of intent to deceive the state through forgery of identity documents.

Prophet Bonang, who identifies himself as Neo Tanka, is accused of forgering a national identity card as well as a driver's licence and an attempt to apply for a national passport.

During the trial that started on Thursday, the prosecution called three witnesses and one of them, Mr Douglas Kono, a one-time member of Prophet Bonang's Pure Gospel Church, indicated that at the beginning of November in 2017, he was summoned to Jwaneng Police Station by one police officer by the name of

Popo, who showed him an application form for a passport with Prophet Bonang's photo attached.

He said he was shocked to note that his (Kono) national identification card number was written at the section where the applicant was required to indicate the identity of his father. He, however, said the names that appeared were not his, but those of one Bashi Tanka.

"I also noted that at the section where the applicant was required to fill in the particulars of his mother, the names of one Margaret Tanka appeared, but the identity card number that appeared was that of my wife," he said.

Mr Kono said he had no idea how the applicant got their identity card numbers, but suspects that he got them from the church's membership registration documents.

"I recall that there was once a rumour that the church was not registered and we were asked to provide our names and ID numbers for purposes of registration. I suspect that is where the applicant got our details," he said.

He also said he knew the accused as Prophet Bonang Ngwenya, and that he only came upon the names Neo Tanka in the application form at the police station.

Another witness, Ms Nurse Kono also corroborated her husband Mr Kono's statement. Another witness, Mr Jenamiso Fulukani also indicated that he was called by the same police officer in 2017, who displayed a national identity card with Prophet Bonang's picture.

"The police officer concealed the names and asked me if I knew the person on the card, which I told him I did. It was only when he revealed the names that I was shocked to note that it displayed Neo Tanka instead of Bonang Ngwenya as I expected," he said.

He said Prophet Bonang had at one point told him that he was a South African national. During cross examination of the first and second witnesses, Prophet Bonang enquired how they indicated that they were shown the application form in November, while immigration officials had previously indicated before court that they released the said form to the police in December.

However, Mr Mokgatle said the question could only be posed to the investigating officer as he was the one who obtained it, and not the witnesses.

The prosecuting officer, Sub Inspector Edwin Supang said he would call three more witnesses, including the woman that the accused purports to be his mother as well as the expert who conducted DNA test.

Source : BOPA

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