IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the matter of :
V THABO MAPHUROANE
J U D G M E N T
Delivered by the Hon. Mr. Justice M.L. Lehohla on the
11th day of May. 1989.
You pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Culpable
Homicide. The crown accepted your plea, even at this stage if I may
I have learnt that P.W.1 Lerato Lineo, who was with
his father at Qholaqhoe at Ha Thaabe in Qholaqhoe took offence at
father being tripped by your son and thereupon attacked
your son with fists. You later pitched on the scene and fought P.W.1.
the process Lineo retreated to his home and fetched a stick with
which to fight you back, and naturally your son and incidentally
Masiba came to the scene and closed ranks with you in the attack
Once more P.W.1 was forced to retreat no doubt because
he was extremely outnumbered. I may confess that I don't understand
of this fight. From the record it appears that he invited
you during the fight to go to his home. I have never heard in my
of an invitation to one's home in the process
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of a fight. However the invitation was heeded and
the fight proceeded to P.W.1's home where unfortunately
his father was not present.
It would appear that the invitation to P.W.1's home was
so that the father could help settle the cause of this dispute; and
eventually came and while passions understandably were still
high, he inquired about what was taking place at his house, and
wait a moment's delay before delivering a fist blow at you;
and you acting perhaps in self-defence used a knife to stab him with.
The court takes account of the fact that although the knife is a
lethal weapon only one stab wound was inflicted.
Although the matter may have started as provocation on
account of circumstances which immediately preceded the stabbing with
I take the view that you acted in self-defence albeit that
you exceeded such defence to some moderate degree. But the Court
heed of the fact that where a plea of self-defence is relied on
it should not adopt an arm-chair critics attitude and view your
too critically while in fact what might have been happening
at the scene could not afford a relaxed deliberation of the events
were taking place.
So although you used a knife it would be sheer
speculation therefore of baseless type at that,to say that you should
have warded off
a fist blow with a fist blow. So in these
circumstances I find that your plea of guilty to Culpable Homicide
was properly tendered.
You are accordingly found guilty of Culpable
Homicide on your own plea.
I heard what your counsel has said on your behalf on the
question of mitigation of sentence. I have taken into account that
spent one and half years in prison. I have also taken into
account the fact that circumstances really show that you were acting
under extreme provocation. There was an attempt
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to have the matter settled, but your attempts at doing
so were blessed with an attack on your physical body.
I have taken into account the fact that you pleaded
guilty and did not waste the time of the court. One little thing that
me is how could a man get cornered in a rondavell. But
however, I attribute to the proper meaning of that expression its
sense. In the circumstances, I do appreciate the fact
that you pleaded guilty and that is an indication that you are
for the act.
I accordingly would impose a sentence which takes into
account all these factors which are in your favour. But I need not
the view that human life cannot be taken away without
I accordingly imposes sentence of one thousand Maloti or
two years' imprisonment of which half is suspended for three years,
that within the period of suspension of the term of
imprisonment, you do not commit an offence involving use of violence
to a person.
J U D G E. 11th May, 1989.
For Crown : Mr. Mokhobo
For Defence : Mr. C.D. Molapo.
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