A 69-year-old man of Serowe Village in the Central District, Malebogo Chibua, last week pleaded not guilty to a single count of murder before Francistown High Court Judge Tshepo Motswagole.
Chibua, a farmer, told the court that he shot his employee, Ketshorwaemang Keodubile, to death in self defense.
Giving sworn evidence in court, Chibua said that the tragic incident began when Keodubile refused to take instructions while they were looking after cattle at his cattle post near Serowe.
“I gave instructions to my employee to tender the cattle and he began hurling insults at me, saying that I am a useless boss and I ignored him,” said Chibua, adding that he then went into the kraal to try and attend to his cattle and the deceased came from behind and struck him on the head with a knobkerrie while wielding an axe in his other hand, saying that he was going to end Chibua’s life.
He said that as he was engulfed in fear and panic, he immediately took his rifle and shot Keodubile dead.
According to the charge sheet, on the 18th of May in 2007 at the cattle Post of Sanaka near Serowe Village, Chibua allegedly murdered Keodubile who was working for him as a herd man.
The defense counsel in the matter, Gontse Simon, of Manyothwane Attorneys, conceded before court that his client had a case to answer, but argued that it was not the intention of the accused to kill his employee.
Simon also brought before court that Chibua had no option but to shoot Keodubile as his life was in danger, especially since the deceased had a knobkerrie and an axe, two deadly weapons.
On the other hand, State Counsel Chimbisana Sechele, from the Directorate of Public Prosecution, also argued that Chibua had other options of not killing the deceased as he could have escaped. He stressed that killing Keodubile was a malicious intention.
Justice Motswagole told court that although the accused could have been under attack, he had several options to avoid the attack, including retreating into cattle or shooting elsewhere at the body of the deceased but not taking his life.
The defense further argued that being in a moment of panic and fear, the accused was under threat of his life and he did so to save his own life.
Judgment in the case has been reserved for the 20th of June.
Chibua is currently out on bail.