Friday, January 15, 2021

Court convicts on one count of murder

Lobatse High Court judge, Tebogo Tau, has convicted Keemenao Letlole of murdering his wife, Tebogo Letlole and sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment, but discharged him of murdering his son, Godfrey Letlole on the night of May 3 2011 .

In her judgment Tau said that she could not believe the accused’s story that the deceased was the one who went and took a metal rod and attacked the accused with it and that the accused was justified in defending himself.

The issue however, she said, was whether the degree of force used was reasonable. The accused, she said had managed to wrestle the rod from the accused and hit her whilst she was unarmed.

The doctor who gave evidence said the deceased was hit many times and that the accused did not dispute this.

The judge said by hitting the deceased many times with a rod when she was not armed, the accused exceeded the bounds of self defence as it was indicative of the fact that he was not acting proportionally to the perceived danger.

Therefore, she said, defence was not available to him, adding that and the state had proved its case of murder against him beyond doubt.

Regarding the second count of having murdered his child, the judge said that there was no eye witness to the incident but that the doctor had indicated that the deceased had died from a blunt force applied to his head.

The dispute in this matter, she said, was whether the death was caused by the accused and whether that had resulted from malice afterthought on his part and whether there was available legal defence available to him.

After analysing all the other evidence given in this case she said that she felt that the state had failed to convincingly rebut the evidence of the accident and to prove beyond doubt that the accused had hit his deceased son with a rod and was therefore entitled to the benefit of doubt. He was therefore discharged from Count 2.

Ofentse Khumomotse represented the accused.

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