IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO In the
LEBONA TSABO THABANG MOJAKISANE
Delivered by the Honourable Mr. Justice J.L. KHEOLA on
the 30th day of November, 1987.
The accused were convicted by a third class magistrate
at Thaba-Tseka of the offences of housebreaking with intent to steal
rape and malicious injury to property. They had pleaded
guilty to all the charges and were committed to the High Court for
in terms of section 293 of the Criminal Procedure and
Evidence Act. 1981.
The outline of the facts by the public prosecutor were
that on the 27th September, 1987 one 'Mamphasane Ranooe was sleeping
house with 'Mathuso Ralethola together with three of their
children. During the night they heard footsteps of a person coming
the window and opened it. 'Mamphasane closed the window and
went back to her bed. After a long time the door was struck with a
object and was broken. Two men entered, one of them went to
'Mamphasane and kicked her on the chest. He ordered them not to make
a noise and to light lamp. 'Mathuso complied and lit a lamp. It was
after the lamp was In that the complainants saw that the intruders
were the two accused who were strangers to them.
The accused ordered the complainants to give them money
if they wanted to live. When 'Mathuso told them that they did not
money the accused threatened to kill them immediately. She
then asked her daughter, 'Mampolai, to take out her last M20-00 from
wardrobe and to give it to the accused. She complied and gave the
money to the accused.
After the money was given to them the accused went to
the wardrobe and took out the following articles 5 blankets, 2 pairs
1 dessert-spoon set, 7 glasses, 1 sugar pot, 4
cassettes, 1 knife, a raincoat, some underwear, a pair of boots,
socks and a bag containing
money amounting to M526-00. After that the
accused down and helped themselves to the food that was in the pots.
Having filled their stomachs the accused told
'Mamphasane that they wanted to have sexual intercourse with her. One
of them took out
a brown knife from his pocket and cut' 'Mamphasane's
panty with it. She protested and asked them what they wanted since
taken her property. The accused ignored her protest and
raped her in turns, while one of them was raping her the other one
a knife at her neck. They ravished her in full view of
'Mathuso and the children, the oldest of whom was only fourteen years
After they had satisfied their lust the accused took the
property listed above and prepared to leave.
Before they left they took all documents they had found
in the wardrobe including two passports belonging to 'Mamphasane and
and put them back into the wardrope before setting them on
fire with sole intention of injuring the complainants in their
The documents and the wardrobe were damaged. Thereafter the
accused took property aforesaid and left.
The complainants immediately raised alarm and villagers
came The matter was reported to the police and a search for the
launched. They were arrested at Thaba-Tseka bus stop
where they were preparing to board a bus to Maseru. All the stolen
was recovered except one blanket and M116-80 of the stolen
money, the rest (M409-20) was recovered. The accused gave the police
brown Knife which was identified by 'Mamphasane as the one with
which accused cut
her panty on the previous night.
The doctor who examined 'Mamphasane found the following
a little wound on the right upperarm and a scratch on
the right forcar He formed the opinion that the complainant had been
The accused admitted the facts stated by the Crown and
the learned magistrate convicted them accordingly.
At the hearing of this case at the High Court the
accused were represented by Mr. Monyako who submitted that
according to his instructions the accused claim that they pleaded
guilty because they did not understand what was
happening in the
court a quo. I am satisfide. that they understood what was
happening because the proceedings were conducted in Sesotho Language
which they understood
The first stage is that they were found in possession of
the stolen goods. They were taken to the magistrate's court and a
sheet was read and explained to them. They pleaded guilty to
all the charges. A summary of the facts of the case was given. They
were there whether or not they admitted the facts. The answer was in
I confirm the conviction on all counts.
In mitigation of sentence Mr. Monyako submitted
that the accused are first offenders and that they were drunk when
they committed the offences. He asked the Court to take
that the offences were committed at the same time. The offences
committed by the accused are not only serious but the
manner in which
they were committed is an aggravating factor. They raped the
complainant in full view of her own children. They are
have to be treated as such. In count I I am of the opinion
that they ought to have been charged with housebreaking
with intent to rob and robbery because the assaults preceding the
of the goods make the offence robbery and not theft.
SENTENCE Count I Nine (9) months'
imprisonment Count 2, Four (4) years' imprisonment.
Count 3 M120 or 3 months' imprisonment.
Sentences to run concurrently.
J .L. KHEOLA JUDGE
30th November, 1987.
For Crown Mr. Mokhobo For Defence Mr. Monyako.
African Law (AfricanLII)
Ghana Law (GhaLII)
Laws of South Africa (Legislation)
Lesotho Law (LesLII)
Liberian Law (LiberLII)
Malawian Law (MalawiLII)
Namibian Law (NamibLII)
Nigerian Law (NigeriaLII)
Sierra Leone Law (SierraLII)
South African Law (SAFLII)
Seychelles Law (SeyLII)
Swaziland Law (SwaziLII)
Tanzania Law (TanzLII)
Ugandan Law (ULII)
Zambian Law (ZamLII)
Zimbabwean Law (ZimLII)
Commonwealth Countries' Law
LII of India
United States Law