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Furniture shop worker in court for arson, theft

Nat Molomo

MASERU — A worker at Prestige Furnitures which was burnt down last week appeared in court on Thursday to answer charges of arson and theft.

Suping Mabitso, 26, from Khubetsoana, was granted M500 bail when he appeared before Maseru magistrate Kakapa Tau.

He was remanded to June 22 when the court is expected to set down the date for trial.

Mabitso is facing two counts of theft and arson.

On the first count Mabitso, who was not asked to plead, is being charged with  allegedly stealing M50 000 from his boss, Aliciah Mots’oane, on June 1.

He is also accused of setting the furniture store at Sefika Mall in Maseru on fire a day later.

Property worth M5 million was destroyed when the store caught fire on June 2.

Mabitso’s lawyer, Advocate Ts’enase Ts’enase, successfully fought to have his client granted bail of M500.

But prosecutor Gcinimuzi Tshabalala argued that the amount was too little compared with the damage  he had inflicted on the property and the amount of money he is accused to have stolen.

“We don’t have an objection to the accused being granted bail. We can only advise that we have a very strong case against him,” Tshabalala told the court.

“Over and above that the sum of M50 000 was stolen,” he said.

Magistrate Tau then ordered the accused to secure surety in the sum of not less than M80 000 worth of property which will be forfeited to the state should he fail to attend trial.

The accused was also ordered to report to the police at Pitso Ground Police Station between 8am and 8pm every Friday.

The court also ordered Mabitso to attend remand trials and not interfere with witnesses.

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