Sunday, April 18, 2021

Murder convict escapes death sentence

Barulaganye Kgatiso, a 22-year-old man of Mangana cattlepost in the Central District who was charged with murder breathed a sigh of relief last week Thursday as Francistown High Court Judge, Gaopalelwe Ketlogetswe, decided not to impose the death sentence on him after he found that they were extenuating circumstances in his case.

Kgatiso was charged with the murder of his cousin, Modiri Kengadile, on the 8th of February in 2010 at Mangana Cattlepost. According to the summary of evidence, Kgatiso and Kengadile on the 8th of February 2010 were at a certain yard where they were drinking traditional beer with two of their friends. After a while, Kengadile, the deceased, had a fight with the two friends and assaulted Kgatiso.

Kgatiso then fled the scene and came back where he approached the deceased asking him why he assaulted him. He then produced a knife and stabbed the deceased to death.
 The accused had pleaded guilty to the offence.

His lawyer, Thamsanqa Silitshena, brought to the court’s attention during trial that they were extenuating circumstances in the case. He pleaded with the court to take into consideration the fact that the accused committed the offence at a very young age. He also said that although the accused committed an unlawful act of murder, he was provoked. He further pleaded with the court to observe the fact that the accused was under the influence of alcohol when he committed such an offence.

However, the state did not object to the issue of extenuation.

Giving his verdict, Justice Ketlogetswe also acceded to the issue of extenuating circumstances but raised concern over a growing trend of youth carrying lethal weapons at drinking spots leading to injuries and murder.

“The carrying of lethal weapons by our youth at drinking spots has become a trend and it should be discouraged because it normally leads to injuries and death. Murder is a serious offence and a life has been lost. However, wherever there are extenuating circumstances the court can impose any other sentence other than death. The accused is sentenced to ten years imprisonment and he has six weeks to appeal,” the Judge said.

The state was represented by Kefilwe Jeremiah from the DPP.

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