THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
the matter between:
Delivered by the Hon. Mrs
Justice A. M. Hlajoane on 27th September, 2010.
The accused appeared before me
charged with the crime of murder, in that upon or about the 10th
day of April, 2002 at or near Ha Mahoko in the Thaba-Tseka district
the accused did unlawfully and intentionally kill Kopo Kobo.
The accused after the charge was
put to him tendered a plea of guilty to Culpable Homicide. The plea
was accepted by the crown
counsel. The outline of facts showed that
the evidence of the crown would show that on the evening of the day
in question the
accused went to the homestead of one ‘Mantsitile
Ramone where he found the deceased and some other people. Because
sold home-brew beer, the deceased and those with
him were drinking that Sesotho beer.
When the accused got there he
also bought himself beer and started drinking. As they were busy
enjoying their beer, the deceased
went to where the accused was
seated and asked for beer and cigarette but accused would not give
him any of the two. It was then
that the deceased said to the
accused, that in fact he was merely joking as he would not smoke a
cigarette from a person infected
with tuberculosis (TB) and was
referring to the accused.
The evidence would show that in
fact the accused had TB. These people were seated inside the house.
The accused then stood up
and the deceased pushed him towards the
table. It was at that juncture that the accused pulled out his knife
and stabbed the deceased
in the neck.
It was after the first stabbing
that the two manhandled each other and the accused again stabbed the
deceased on the waist. Evidence
would show that the deceased was not
armed during that fight.
Evidence would further show that
after stabbing the deceased for the second time, the accused ran to
the chief’s place, Motsamai
Mokeretla. He reported to the
chief and handed over the knife to the chief. The deceased died on
the spot. The police were called
to the chief’s place where
they found the accused and arrested him. The knife which the accused
admitted to have used was
also seized by the police.
The police took the dead body to
the mortuary where an autopsy was later performed. The report showed
that death was a result of
the stab wounds on deceased’s body,
causing internal bleeding. The report was handed in as an exhibit,
The evidence would further show
that the events took place whilst both accused and deceased were
under the influence of beer. Unfortunately
the knife had been
misplaced. The facts were admitted by the defence as true.
The accused was said to be a
In mitigation of sentence
accused’s counsel showed that accused being a first offender
who had been provoked by the deceased
when deceased publicly teased
him by attacking his health status had not intended to harm the
deceased. He acted under drunken
state. He also had this case
hanging over him since 2002 to date. He even showed remorse by not
running away after stabbing the
deceased but went straight to his
chief and explained to him. His plea though to a lesser offence
shows remorse. He also is a
bread winner with children to support.
The court having considered all
the mitigating factors found that the death of the deceased has been
just an unfortunate incident.
There was no intention to kill.
Accused is sentenced to a period
of five years imprisonment or M5000.00 ½ of which is suspended
for a period of two years
on condition that he is not found guilty of
a similar offence involving violence during the period of suspension.
The Court took into account the
fact that the family of the deceased may still be waiting for the
disposal of this criminal case
so that they could go for a civil
claim of raising the head.
For Crown: Mr Tlali
For Accused: Mr Mokoko
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