IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO In the matter
1. WHITE MAPOLANKA
Delivered by the Hon. Acting Mr. Justice M. L. Lehohla
on the 20th day of June 1986
On 20th June 1986 I made an order on review setting
aside conviction and sentence in the above matter.
The Accused were charged with Culpable Homicide.
The evidence disclosed that P.W.1 'Malineo Mothabi was
in love with deceased. She quarrelled with deceased. The deceased
at P.W. 1's termination of their love affair. He
assaulted her. She ran away. Deceased chased her with a knife and a
length of wire
with which P.W. 1 feared he was going to stab her. The
two accused came to her assistance as she was running across lots
by the deceased. The two accused assaulted deceased
with sticks. The latter later died as a result of injuries sustained
assault with sticks.
Both Accused are P.W.1's sons. See page 6 of the record.
It is not clear if they knew that P.W. 1 was in love with deceased.
are aged 24 and 28 years respectively.
I found that they were entitled to use force to repel
imminent threat to their mother's life. Taking into account
circumstances disclosed in this case regard being had to
the fact that it must have been a disgusting thing for them to see
mother put in peril of her life; a good amount of hot blood
coupled with the heat of the moment(in the face of deceased's
it out in broad day light that he was chasing P.W.1 because
of spurned love-), must be given allowance for.
In questions put to P.W.1 by the accused it appeared
that she could not deny that deceased threatened them with a knife
were trying to stop him chasing P.W.1 This is a factor that
cannot be ignored. Consequently I found that a case of private
was well founded in respect of both accused for instance at
page 12 of the record, to the question put by accused 2 "Will I
be telling a lie to say I struck deceased because he wanted to stab
me with a knife ? I cannot deny, I was too far, I did not see,"
Further at page 9 in answer to the question by Accused 1
" And deceased attempted to stab accused 2 with a
knife and I struck him first - ? I cannot deny that."
The extent of injuries on deceased was not determined as
no medical evidence was led. But my decision does not hinge on the
of medical evidence. Sufficient disclosure of self-defence
has been made to warrant an acquittal of both Accused. Conviction and
the wholly suspended sentence are set aside.
In the result both Accused are acquitted and discharged.
M. L. LEHOHLA
ACTING JUDGE 20th June, 1986
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