Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Condemned prisoners to know their fate next week

Two condemned prisoners, Michael Molefe and Brandon Sampson, will on the 29 of April know whether or not they will be hanged for the murders of two men in 2000.

This follows after their lawyers, Ookeditse Maphakwane and Duma Boko, asked Court of Appeal judges to dismiss their conviction and sentence on grounds that it was not safe.

Making submissions on behalf of Molefe, Maphakwane submitted that the judge in the High Court, now Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo, had erred by sentencing Molefe to death despite its earlier findings that there were extenuating circumstances.

He then referred to a similar case in which the same judge who has sentenced the two condemned prisoners to death had sentenced a certain Golebanye to death despite his earlier finding at the second phase of inquiry that there were extenuating circumstances in his favour which had undermined the existence of any aggravating circumstances.

Dibotelo, Maphakwane submitted, had in the present case made a finding that there were extenuating circumstances in favour of Molefe but that, despite the finding that there were extenuating circumstances, he proceeded and returned a death sentence penalty.

The Court, Maphakwane said, did not find any new aggravating factors other than using same factors that were considered under the second phase of inquiry which he said was wrong and constituted a material misdirection.

For his part, Duma Boko, representing Sampson, submitted that the confession statement’s admissibility is challenged by his client Sampson that it did not amount to an unequivocal admission of wrongdoing.

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