Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Lawyer wants murder charge against councillor dropped

The lawyer representing Jeremiah Ramodisa, a Botswana Democratic Party councillor of Mhalapitsa/Pilikwe/Maape Ward in Tswapong South Constituency who is facing a murder charge, has pleaded with the Francistown High Court’s Judge Zibani Makhwade to drop the charge against his client.

The particulars of the offence are that on the 13th of February, 2011 the accused allegedly shot his wife to death with a 306 rifle in Maape Village, in what is believed to have emanated from a love wrangle.

Making his submissions on Friday, the lawyer, Letsweletse Martin Dingake, brought to the court’s attention that his client was provoked, leading to him accidentally shooting the deceased as indicated in his confession statement.

Dingake argued that the accused should face a charge of manslaughter as he had no intention to kill.
In his confession statement, Ramodisa had told court that he had marital problems with his wife who had extra marital affairs. He said that during the fateful day, their parents had convened a meeting to try and help resolve their issue. After the issue was resolved while the two were at their yard, the deceased then uttered words that she was going to sort him out. Ramodisa said that he felt provoked and he took a gun in a bid to scare the deceased who was constantly uttering the statement. He said that he attempted to shoot in the air to scare her and he then accidentally shot her to death.

“The deceased and the accused had marital problems dating back a number of years as is contained in the evidence before court. On the date in question, the deceased, according to the accused’s confession statement, had even spent the previous night elsewhere and not at home,” the lawyer maintained.

He said that the uttered statement by the deceased led to the accused taking a gun and recklessly shooting her due to provocation.

“In our respectful view, whilst it must readily be acceptable that perhaps the accused person was reckless in his shooting and was indifferent to the direction in which he shot but had no desire to cause death,” Dingake told court.

He further argued that it also could not be foreseeable that a gunshot intended to be shot in the air could have killed the deceased.

On the other hand, the state counsel, Kabelo Gaonyadiwe, from the DPP, rubbished the submissions from the defence saying that the issue of provocation has to be ruled out. He argued that with the accused carrying a gun, it was clear that he had an intention to kill.

“The confession statement shows that the deceased uttered those words when the accused was already carrying a gun. The provocation issue raised by the defense should not be considered and one other thing is that the reaction by the accused was very excessive,” he said.

Ramodisa is currently out on bail and the case will continue on the 28 of November this year.


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