The news that Michael Montshiwa, Fairgrounds Holdings’ late Chief Executive Officer was shot dead by an unknown assailant left the nation reeling with shock late last year. Though it took a while for the police to finger someone out in connection with the murder, they finally did, a week before the end of 2015. The suspect, who was brought before Village magistrate court on the 24th of December last year, was none other than his personal attorney Modise David.
The 31-year-old lawyer was not only charged with Montshiwa’s death but was also slapped with another charge of defrauding Montshiwa of P245 000 which came into his possession by virtue of being the late Montshiwa’s lawyer. He was reportedly arrested on December 23 by the police. Two other suspects in the case have also appeared before the courts and although they have been denied bail, David is currently out on a P10 000 bail and is due to appear again in court on January 25th.
Modise David is listed as a private practitioner by the Law Society of Botswana. His law firm - David and Company – is based in Gaborone. The youthful counsel from Francistown graduated with a bachelor of laws (LLB) from one of Africa and South Africa’s top-ranked Universities, the University of Cape Town in 2009. He immediately joined the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as a prosecutor. Among the top cases he has handled while at the government law firm include the Bakgatla flogging case in which Kgosikgolo Kgafela Kgafela II and his brother Mmusi Kgafela alongside 13 other tribesmen were facing charges of illegal flogging meted out to some residents of Mochudi.
He worked alongside Kgosietsile Ngakaagae as the lead Prosecutor in the case, and coincidentally, Ngakaagae now represents him in this case. Socially David is known to be much of a socialite who has an expensive taste for finer things in life among them high powered motorbikes. He is also said to love expensive cars; among the latest that he drove is a VW Toureg. Asking around from his acquaintances in the legal fraternity and just people who are likely to be in the same circles with him is a difficult task. If one doesn’t claim they have an unclear picture of him, they either claim to not know him and those who know him choose not to discuss him.
A quick browse through his Facebook profile, in which he go by the name Modise-Melusi David, does not divulge much either. His current profile picture is a dark silhouette of what looks like a human with wings facing a vast area of water under dark skies lit by a full moon and stars. The picture, which was uploaded on the December 25, a day after David was released on bail, garnered 10 likes from his facebook friends and a comment from one which reads; ‘In solidarity with you’.
His trail in the social media network is not really much, but is enough to give one a glimpse of the good living David was fond of and did not hesitate to have. But be that as it may, the Chairperson of Law Society Botswana, Lawrence Lecha acknowledged that they are aware of charges faced by David as one of their members. He, however, noted that no action will be taken against him pertaining to the murder charge, because their mandate as the Law Society is to monitor and regulate professional misconduct among members. He also noted that it would, however, be different if he is eventually convicted of the charge. “We exercise the notion that everybody is innocent until proven guilty,” Lecha said.
Regarding the second charge of stealing by agent, Lecha stated that the Law Society will send in their auditors to determine whether it is indeed true that David has tampered with trust funds in his custody. “If they find out that there was misappropriation of funds, David will then be expected to appear before the society’s Disciplinary Committee, who will after evaluating the case advice the council on what step to take,” said Lecha. The council, according to Lecha, will either fine, suspend or remove David from the bar as per advice from the Disciplinary Committee. “We can never take action against him unless the matter has passed before the Disciplinary Committee and they have advised accordingly,” he said.