Francistown High Court Judge, Moses Chinhengo, last week sentenced Olivia Olebeletse Keboletse of Serowe to 10 years imprisonment for three counts of attempted murder. ┬á
According to the charges, Keboletse, who is also a teacher by profession, on the 18th of September in 2006, attempted to cause the death of her relatives, being Richard Merafhe, Keboletse Mooketsi and Steven Keboletse.
The facts from prosecution reveal that she hired three men, Keboikantse Dikgakgamatso a Motswana and three Zimbabwean nationals, Goodwin Mapashike, Collen Constan Nyandoro and Kudzayi Mapashike, to kill the relatives.┬á
It is stated that the whole motive to kill her uncle (Merafhe) and the other relatives was to easily get access to the uncle’s finances and property as he was a retired Debswana Mining Company employee who had received benefits from the company.
On the 17th of September 2006 she is reported to have given the hired men, money to go and buy petrol so that they could burn the house in which Merafhe was sleeping together with the other relatives.
It is further reported that the men went to the house in the middle of the night where they petrol into the house and set it on fire.
The three intended victims managed to escape from the house before they were burnt.
The four hired men, who turned state witnesses, have since been convicted and sentenced for charges of attempted murder, as they pleaded guilty to all the charges.
The woman had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In his judgment, Justice Chinhengo said that there is overwhelming evidence that she hatched the whole plan to kill the three relatives as testimony was given by the hired men and other witnesses.
“In my view, the corroboration of the four men’s evidence completely removes the prospect of wrong conviction,” the Judge said. “The offence under section 391 of the penal code is one of soliciting another to commit an offence and where an attempt is committed the one who solicited is guilty of an offence and is liable to the same punishment as he had himself attempted to commit that offence,” Chinhengo said.
The state was represented by Keneilwe Lephalo of the Directorate of Public Prosecution and the accused was represented by Keitshegile Sechele of KK Sechele Attorneys.
The defense has been given six weeks to appeal.