Monday, April 19, 2021

Christmas Eve murderers convicted

Two pistol packing young men who were drunk and high on dagga shot dead two Zimbabwean men on Christmas Eve of 2000, and went about in clothes stained with blood from the victims.

Kgotso Sampson and his South African accomplice, Michel Molefhe, murdered Sam Hombarume and Robert Ncube to avenge the death of Molefe’s aunt who was murdered and robbed of R95 000 in Soweto, South Africa.

Lobatse High Court judge, Maruping Dibotelo, on Thursday convicted Sampson and Molefe, saying there was evidence that the two accused persons had acted in common purpose in killing the two to avenge the murder and robbery of Molefe’s aunt.

This, he said, was also strengthened by the fact that the two convicted persons had, on the night of the murder, gone to the deceased’s house armed with a revolver. If the visit was genuine, Dibotelo said that they would have gone during the day and that there would have been no reason to carry a revolver. In addition, he said, there is also circumstantial evidence which points to the two accused persons as killers of the deceased persons. This evidence, he said, is that four used cartridges were recovered from the revolver in a bag that belonged to Molefe at the place where he stayed. A ballistics expert later told the Court that there was no doubt that the spent cartridges had been fired from the revolver that was discovered in Molefe’s bag which was found hidden inside a television set.

The judge, however, conceded that it could not be safely concluded that the three spent bullets recovered were fired from the revolver that was found at the place where Molefe stayed. But, he said, when Molefe and Sampson were arrested, they were putting on blood stained blue dungarees whilst a blood stained jean was worn by Sampson. The judge said the blood stains, when analysed, were found to belong to Hombarume, one of the deceased persons, and that the only explanation for that was that the blood had come onto their clothes when they were committing the crime.

On the evidence by the accused persons that they had drunk beer and smoked dagga, Dibotelo said that he was not convinced that they were so drunk that they could not know what they were doing.

On the charge of unlawful possession of arms of war, Dibotelo, says that the prosecution had proved its case that Molefe knew about the gun in that he had told police that it was inside the bag and that it was him who had hidden it there. He said there was further evidence that when Molefe left for Ncube’s place to demand payment for debts allegedly owed him, he was armed with the revolver that was used in the murder.

Dibotelo said Molefe, in his confession statement, had stated that he had at one stage fired a warning shot and told Ncube to seat down. He said Molefe had also stated in his confession that he had shot Ncube during a struggle. Sampson, he said, also knew about the gun because he mentioned several incidents which occurred saying that he saw Molefe holding a gun and that he had never, at any point, expressed surprise that Molefe was armed with a gun when they went to the deceased’s house. All these actions, the judge said, did not show a person who did not know that the other person was armed. The evidence, he said, showed that the two were in possession of the weapon on the fateful day when they went to demand payment for a debt; that they were in unlawful possession of the gun because, when asked by police to produce a license allowing them to carry the gun, they failed to do so.

Ookeditse Maphakwane represented Molefe while Sampson was represented by Duma Boko. Susan Mangori prosecuted.


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