HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
by the Honourable Mr Justice S.N. Peete on the 8th February, 2005
1. On the
8th February 2005 the accused - a 50 year old mosotho woman pleaded
guilty to the crime of culpable homicide - the crown
alleging that on
the 27th December 1994 and at or near Thabana-Mohlomi, Ha Khesi in
the Mafeteng District the accused had negligently
caused the death of
one Majoele Rasebesoane by stabbing her with a knife. It should be
that this case had originally been indicted and enrolled as "murder"
some time back in 1999.
Perusal of the preparatory examination record reveals that there was
no eye-witness to the stabbing; the witnesses called had
testified to the fact that the accused was seen chasing after the
deceased as she rushed into another house barricading herself
the accused who was angrily shouting "Letekatse....sefebe
etc.,". The deceased passed away soon thereafter from
stab wounds, the most fatal was on the chest area-causing a cardiac
arrest - post traumatic (haempericardium).
accused surrendered herself to the Mafeteng police on the following
day and was arrested.
court then returned a verdict of "guilty to culpable homicide"
in terms of section 240 of the Criminal Procedure
and Evidence No. 9
of 1987. Having been advised by her counsel, the accused - who had no
previous convictions on record - elected
to give evidence under oath
to explain the circumstances under which she killed the deceased.
informed the court that during the evening of the 27th December 1994
she had gone to fetch a knife from her neighbour when
she saw her
husband leaving the shebeen of Mabolelang in the company of the
deceased Majoele Rasebesoane. She watched them go into
enclosure wherein she found them de flagarando delicto in the act of
sexual intercourse. Thus interrupted, her husband
ran away and in a
fit of anger she started stabbing the deceased as she ran away; she
managed to grab her lumber.
says she cannot remember pursing the deceased to any house or
uttering the words "Letekatse....sefebe''.
says she then went to report herself at the Mafeteng on the following
day - and was then taken into custody.
Sentence: "You have been found guilty of culpable homicide upon
own plea. You have admitted stabbing the deceased, and causing her
death on the 27/12/94 in circumstances which you have accounted
This is a typical case of killing under provocation de flagarondo
delicto having found your husband having sexual intercourse with the
deceased. He ran away from his misdeed. You stabbed the deceased
under extreme provocation of marital infidelity.
are a first offender
surrendered yourself to the police on the following day
pleaded guilty before this court and has shown remorse for what you
have about six dependants - all school going
should not have transgressed the law had it not been for your erring
a person like you is problematic because as your medical records you
seem to have since been greatly traumatized mentally
by the tragic
events of that day that befell you. Having taken all these factors
into consideration, the following is the sentence
of the court:
"The accused is sentenced to7 years without option of a fine -
wholly suspended for 3 years on condition that during the period of
suspension the accused is not convicted of an offence involving
violence to person for which she is sentenced to a period of
imprisonment of six months without an option of a fine".
: Mr Mokuku
Defence: Mrs Ramafole
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