INTHE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the matter of :
v TSOENE TSOENE
J U D G M E N T
Delivered by the Hon. Mr. Justice M.L. Lehohla on the
27th day of October, 1989.
You appeared before a second class magistrate charged
with the crime of culpable homicide and the allegation was that you
man called Ngope Tsoeu on the 15th July 1988. You pleaded
not guilty to that charge.
Your mother gave evidence before that court that you are
her son, that on 15th of July 1988 she was at home in company of the
Letuka, who had come in asking for beer; and that when you
arrived, she and he were just sitting down; and that you without any
cause just attacked Letuka and when she tried to intervene,
you overpowered her.
She ran out to raise an alarm . She testified that the
deceased was very drunk. You told me that you didn't hear that. She
that the deceased was about twenty years younger than she is.
You also said that you didn't hear this. You say this accounts for
your failure to cross-examine her on these matters. But what appeared
to have been
your defence from the line of your cross-examining her
was that you had been provoked, for according to your questions put
your mother, you said you found this man in bed with her.
Apart from the fact that your mother denied that this
was the case, people who came immediately after she had raised an
at the bed and found that there was nothing untoward
about it, it didn't look to have been slept in and there is no
she came in the interval between your own departure
and subsequent reentry into the house to make up that bed. There
is no suggestion
to that whatsoever.
So the evidence was properly founded which said the bed
looked as if it was going to be slept in. Apart from these two
I have brought to your. attention, you had no business
whatsoever to interfere in your mother's private affairs; that's even
she was in love with the deceased.
The savegery with which you unleashed this attack on an
unarmed man on all accounts necessitates an appreciably
After the event you didn't even as much as try
to take the deceased for medical attention. In fact you had
expressed the most
negative attitude to that when the chief asked you
to take him for nursing care or medical attention. You told him that
would rise on his own accord from where he had fallen. The
type of weapons you used, in fact this iron rod and the stick and the
part of the body to which you directed your blows clearly
indicated that you were intent on finishing this poor man. The
crown counsel shows that you should have been charged with
murder instead of culpable homicide. I agree with him.
Witnesses testified that the deceased had his blanket
on, tied to him with a pin and that he also had his shoes on.
The suggestion you made through your crossexamination that he
attacked you with
an iron rod falls away because there is no how a
man could be in bed
wearing shoes and having his blanket tied on with a pin
and also holding an iron rod and simulteneously having sex with your
When this matter came before me on review I asked that
you be told to say why, in the event that your conviction is
confirmed by this
Court the sentence should not be enhanced. I heard
your submissions to that end. But I have come to the conclusion that
as I confirm
the conviction the sentence imposed by the court below
should be set aside on grounds of manifest inadequacy.
In the circumstances therefore I find that the least
possible sentence I ought to impose should be of (8) eight years'
JUDGE. 27th October, 1989.
For Crown : Mr. Thetsane For Defence : In
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