Poor upbringing, dagga, binge drinking and a mother’s plea save Masilo from the hangman

24 Jun 2019

BY MPHO KELEBOGE

Thabo Masilo is not going to be hanged or face any death penalty as punishment for his alleged evil behavior thanks to his indulgence in outlawed substances.

High Court Judge Abdnicoh Tafa when making a ruling on extenuation circumstances absolved convicted murderer Thabo Masilo from death penalty after after evaluating the evidence brought before the court by the investigating officer.

“I’m of the view that the accused youthfulness, binge drinking, smoking of dagga, absence of a direct intention to murder and slow development at childhood stage viewed cumulatively constitute extenuation and I so find,” said Tafa

Tafa said, in the circumstances thus far, the court is at large to consider a sentence other than death penalty.

The 28-year-old Masilo, was at the time of committing the offence schooling at Botho University. He was convicted of murdering Tshephang Motlhabane, shortly after writing her final form 5 examinations at St Joseph College in November 16th 2012, Phase 4, Gaborone.

Tafa said the fact that all the evidence points to the accused having gone to the deceased house unarmed, it is clear he did not have an intention to commit murder.

When making a ruling on the matter, Judge Tafa said although he found as a fact that the convict went to the deceased house with intention to commit crime, it cannot be said with any degree of certainty that his intention was to commit murder.

He said, although in my tended, in my view to exaggerate the extent to which he had taken alcohol and dagga, it cannot however be said in the absence of contradicting evidence that he did not drink alcohol.

Tafa said accused had testified that prior to going to the deceased place of residence he went to his friends place in phase 4 where they went to a place near Game City where drugs are sold. They bought dagga. He smoked about three ‘’zols’’ of dagga before consuming seven bottles of black label beer.

Judge Tafa said the accused poor developmental upbringing has contributed to some of the decisions taken by the accused.

“When he stabbed the deceased, his mind was clouded by alcohol and drunks he had taken. Upon a searching and sober reflection, I’m of the considered view that the accused person may very well had his mind affected albeit not to extend of him being insane by the intake of alcohol and dagga smoking,’’ said Tafa

The judge said the accused also had developmental challenges which manifested themselves when he was just under a year old. According to testimony put before the court by his mother Victoria.

“I’m of the view that the accused youthfulness, binge drinking, smoking of dagga, absence of a direct intention to murder and slow development at childhood stage viewed cumulatively constitute extenuation and I so find,” said Tafa

Tafa said, in the circumstances thus far, the court is at large to consider a sentence other than death penalty.