A 40 year old Tonota village woman, Kediemetse Sebapalo last week pleaded not guilty to a single count of murder before Francistown High Court Judge, Zibani Makhwade.
Sebapalo is accused of causing the death of one Tshepo Maeke after attempting to terminate her pregnancy on the 17th of April 2010 at or near Borotsi ward in Tonota village.
In his testimony, Letsweletse Tshimologo, the deceased’s boyfriend said that sometime in May 2010 Maeke told him that she was two months pregnant and he did not readily accept this information because he suspected her to be one month pregnant. They then quarrelled over the issue and Make told him that she wanted to commit an abortion.
“I advised her to tell her parents but the deceased did not take heed of my advice and rather decided to find help from friends, especially Nnuku and Girlie. I accompanied her together with her friends to Borotsi ward where we were introduced to a lady called Malebogo who also introduced us to the accused (Sebapalo),” he said.
The witness said that Sebapalo then took the deceased to a nearby yard and while he remained in the car they were travelling in. He said that when the deceased came back, they returned to their home.
“I later learnt that she had a miscarriage and she remained at the clinic under medical observation. The following day I was called by her parents who informed me that her condition had worsened. She was referred to Nyangabwe Referral Hospital and on the 19th of May 2010 I was informed that she had passed away,” testified Tshimilogo.
Another witnesses, Mpho Girlie Jogomane said that on the 12th of May in 2010 she was called by her cousin Nnuku saying that she was looking for someone who could terminate a pregnancy. She informed her cousin that she will find out and later that evening she told her that there was someone in Borotsi ward.
On the 13th of May she met Nnuku with Maeke and she took them to one Malebogo Seleke who is her friend.
“I asked Malebogo if she would assist me with the details of someone who would terminate a pregnancy and she then called a certain lady who took the deceased to the accused’s yard. Upon their return Nnuku later told me that the accused inserted a feather into the deceased private parts to terminate her pregnancy and the deceased paid her P400.00,” she said.
She said that a few days later she was told that the deceased had been taken to Nyangabwe Hospital as her condition had worsened. She said that on the 19th of May she received a message that Maeke had passed on.
Martha Mmusi, the nurse who attended the deceased at Madisakwane clinic also told the court in that the deceased came to the clinic accompanied by a friend on the 17th of May complaining of a head-ache. She said that upon examining her she found that she was bleeding heavily from her private parts.
“I then decided to take her to Tonota clinic in an ambulance but before we left for the clinic she told me that something was coming out of her private parts. Upon re-checking the deceased I found out that she was bleeding heavily and she later delivered dead foetus” she said.
The case resumes on September 18 where the state is expected to call three more witnesses.
Bathusi Brown from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) is prosecuting while Reneetswe Rabosotho of Rabosotho Attorneys, a Palapye based law firm is defending the accused who is currently on bail pending conclusion of the case.