A 44-year-old man, Batsho Gaothusi, from Nswazi Ward in Nswazi village, appeared before Court President, Kgosi Dikwalo Monametsi, of the Urban Customary Court and pleaded not guilty to the charges of intimidating his wife by promising to kill her.
Gaothusi is reported to have told his wife that he would kill her if she didn’t tell him if she was still planning to divorce him and gave her three days to respond. He was, however, found guilty under Section 234 of the penal code.
Gaothusi, who runs a tuck shop in Gaborone, told the court that he called his wife on June 30, 2006, using his cell phone and asked her about her intention to divorce him because he had long been receiving divorce letters from his wife’s lawyer, Duma Boko.
He told the court that he gave his wife three extra days from the day he called. Gaothusi told the court that he was tried of being single because his wife dumped him and went to another man he named as Richard. The wife, he said, left him in 2003, and took with her one of his four children.
The accused asked his wife when the three days he gave her expired and his wife told the court that they had expired about three months before.
Batsho told the court that he even went to the police station to report his wife after seeing a long message on his wife’s cell phone while they were still together. He said the police officer, who was in charge at the station, told him that he was a fool to search his wife’s phone.
Gaothusi said on the very same day he went to report to the police, his wife packed her clothes and left forever.
His wife, Masego Gaothusi, 38, from Mauba Ward in Serowe and who works as a cleaner at the Ministry of Finance, told the court that she decided to leave her husband because he was always bulling her and that they spoke very little to each other since their relationship had gone sour.
The accused admitted that he gave his wife three days to respond and told her that their children would be orphans, if she were not going to respond to his questions.
He told the court that he had been receiving letters from his wife’s lawyers since December 2003. He stated that he was taking care of his three kids since his wife took one with her.
Before passing the sentence, Kgosi Monametsi told he court that the accused faced up to three years in jail for intimidation.
In mitigation, Gaothusi asked the court not to send him to prison because his wife does not show love to her own children. He said he is the one who is taking care of them, and makes a living by running his small tuck shop.
Kgosi Monametsi advised them to go and see their parents so that they can help them to solve their problems amicably.
He sentenced him to one year in jail, wholly suspended for three years, and ordered him to pay a court fine of P100 by September 30, 2006, failing which, the police would take him to jail for two months.