Francistown High Court Judge, Dr Kholisani Solo, last week sentenced Keeme Watlala of Thabala Village in the Central District to 6 years imprisonment for manslaughter.
The particulars of the offence are that the accused murdered his brother, Boitshepo Watlala, who was a psychiatric patient on the 11th of July in 2010 in Thabala after a fight erupted between the two.
The state summary of facts further reveals that the whole incident transpired when Boitshepo, who had been newly discharged from Sekgoma Hospital, hurled insults and attacked Keeme. After a long fight, Keeme took a log and hit him causing him to lose consciousness. Boitshepo was then referred to Sekgoma Hospital in Serowe and was later certified dead.
A medical report was later produced stating that Boitshepo died from the injuries caused by his brother Keeme.
However during trial, the defense lawyer, Letsweletse Martin Dingake, of Dingake and Partners, pleaded with court to be lenient in sentencing Keeme on the basis that he had pleaded guilty to the offence and saved court’s time and resources. He said that the accused was a first offender and deserved a chance in life.
“The court needs to consider the circumstances in this case, especially that the accused was provoked and was trapped in a difficult situation which led to the unfortunate incident,” he told court.
The lawyer implored the court to consider the fact that it was not the intention of the accused to commit such an offence.
On the other hand the state had also brought to the court’s attention that the accused committed a serious criminal offence by taking the life of the deceased.
Giving his verdict, Justice Solo said that he is convinced by the defense mitigation but added that there is need by the law to serve justice as expected by society. He brought to the court’s attention that punishment needs to suit crime committed.
“In this case I find the accused guilty of an offence of manslaughter. The accused will be sentenced to six years imprisonment, two years wholly suspended with three years not committing any violence related matters,” he said.
He concluded by saying that the accused has the right to appeal in six weeks.
The state was represented by Chimbisana Sechele of the Directorate of Public Prosecution.