A Maun man, Manonthotho Raditshego, was last week convicted and sentenced to 29 years imprisonment after Francistown High Court Judge Moses Chinhengo found him guilty of two counts of murder.
According to the facts from the prosecution, the accused, on December 11, 2007 murdered a co-worker, Monnawamakgoa Keamogetswe, and his girlfriend, Kenewang Mmoko, by shooting them with a gun after suspecting a relationship between the two.
The Court heard that the horrific incident began when Raditshego, who was working in the Ministry of Health, had gone on a trip to Okavango Delta in Maun with colleagues. He is alleged to have started behaving oddly towards colleagues, uttering death threats and saying that he would murder five people.
A witness told court during trial that things turned worse at one point when Raditshego assaulted the girlfriend and ended up being called for a disciplinary hearing.
“When Mmoko and Keamogetswe were found dead in the camp the accused was traced and arrested by police a little distance from the camp,” the witness added.
However during mitigation, the accused prayed before court to grant him mercy as he was a first offender and a breadwinner. He also pleaded with the judge to consider the fact that he is a pastor who is loved by his community in Maun.
Justice Chinhengo pointed out that there is overwhelming evidence linking the accused to both murders. He also added that the state failed to prove if there were no extenuating circumstances.
Chinhengo said that Raditshego is facing a serious case of murder which could be punishable by death but the court was convinced the deaths were caused by jealousy, which acted as an extenuating factor.
“According to part of the evidence before court, the accused never wanted to see his girlfriend in the company of male workmates but the court is still unable to establish if the motive to kill the first deceased was jealousy as there is not much evidence in that regard,” the judge said.
Chinhengo added that the court had to serve justice and curb such horrific crimes in society. He also mentioned that families of the deceased need to be considered for the ordeal they are going through and justice has to prevail.
“The accused will be sentenced to 19 years for the first count and 10 years for the second count altogether making it 29 years,” the judge ruled.
The state was represented by Thapelo Buang from the Directorate of Public Prosecution and the accused represented himself.