Francistown High Court Judge, Tshepo Motswagole, last week dismissed a case in which Malebogo Chibua, a 69-year-old farmer of Serowe Village in the Central District, had been charged with the murder of his employee.┬á
The charge sheet reveals that on 18th May, 2007 at the cattle post of Sanaka near Serowe Village, Chibua murdered Ketshwarwaemang Keodubile, who was working for him as a herd man by shooting him to death after the two men had a misunderstanding, which led to a fight.
Chibua had told court during trial that the deceased provoked him with insults and refused to take his orders as an employee, adding that the deceased then went on to attack him in an attempt to kill him, which led ┬áhim into taking his gun and shooting Keodubile in self defense.
Chibua also maintained in court that he did not have any intention to kill the deceased but feared for his own life as the deceased attempted to attack him with an axe and a knobkerrie.
“After refusing to take my orders he insulted me, went into the kraal in a surprise attack where he hit me with a knobkerrie and with an axe on the other hand as I quickly took my gun, shot him because I also feared for my life,” the court heard.
On the other hand, during the submissions, state counsel, Chimbisana Sechele, from the Directorate of Public Prosecution, argued that Chibua had other options apart from killing the deceased, adding that he maliciously intended to kill Keodubile.
He also told court that by the accused using a gun on the fight, it was unreasonable and added that he could have opted to shoot the gun elsewhere where it could not have resulted in loss of life.
┬áHowever, delivering his verdict, Justice Motswagole said that he could not blame the accused for any wrong doing as he only killed the deceased as a form of self defense after he was left with no option but to save himself.
The Judge went on to tell the court that the deceased was himself armed with dangerous weapons and demonstrated his willingness to launch a strategic attack despite the gun that was carried by the accused.
“I am satisfied that the decision by the accused was the only means available to defend himself and it was reasonable, therefore┬á the state has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the accused is entitled to an acquittal ,” the Judge concluded.
The defense was led by Francistown Lawyer, Gontse Simon, of Manyothwane Attorneys.