HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
SEPIRITI 1st Accused
Raseboku 2nd Accused
SEPIRITI 3rd Accused
LEQELA 4th Accused
by the Honourable Mr. Justice J.L. Kheola on the 22nd day of August,
1 the accused were charged with the murder of Khafa Motlatsi Lesole
on the 1st day of April, 1989 at Tiping in the district
Thaba-Tseka. In count 2 the accused were charged with assault with
intent to do grievous bodily harm, it being alleged that
on the 1st
day of April, 1989 at Tiping in the district of Thaba-Tseka they
assaulted Lepolesa Matala and Kali Khabo by hitting
them with sticks
and whips all over the bodies with the intention of causing them
grievous bodily harm.
charges the accused tendered pleas of guilty to culpable homicide and
to common assault respectively. The Crown accepted
the pleas in both
counts and the counsel for the Crown stated the facts as follows:
before the 1st day of April, 1989 the accused lost their bells which
are normally fastened to cattle. On the 1st April,
1989 they looked
for their bells and visited various cattle posts but they did not
find them. The bells were eventually found at
some place near the
cattle posts of the deceased and the complainants in count 2. It is
also alleged that when the accused persons
arrived at the cattle post
of the deceased and the complainants dogs were set upon them so that
the accused could not easily search
the area. The accused managed to
beat off the dogs and found the stolen bells hidden under bundles of
firewood. The accused then
arrested the deceased and the complainants
and escorted them to the chief's place. On the way the accused beat
hell out of the
deceased and the complainants.
deceased was so severely beaten up that he became tired and was
unable to walk; they put him on horseback but he fell several
because he was obviously no longer in a condition to ride a horse on
his own. He died before they reached the chief's place.
the post-mortem report the deceased died as a result of respiratory
failure due to left pnemothorax. The left lung
collapsed. As far as the external injuries were concerned he had a
deep wound on the occipital part of the scalp,
multiple whip injuries
on the body, face, legs and arms, fracture of the 4th and 5th ribs
to the medical report Lepolesa Matala had the following injuries:
contusion on the right hand and on the right thigh;
whip marks on the
chest and rope marks and wounds on the arms. He also had brain
commotion. The doctor formed the opinion that
the degree of force
applied in inflicting the above injuries was savage; however, there
were no permanent disabilities.
the injuries of Kali Khabo the medical report indicates that he had
whip marks all over the body, face, arms and legs.
Savage force had
been used to inflict the injuries. There was no permanent disability.
were admitted by the defence counsel on behalf of the accused.
passing sentence my attention was drawn to the fact that the accused
were very angry because they had lost not only the eight
question but also two sheep and a goat. Dogs were set upon them by
the deceased and his companions. One of their horses
was found dead
near the cattle post of the deceased. The second accused was only
seventeen years old at the relevant time.
: Count I:- A1, A3 and A4: Four (4) years imprisonment each.
A2: Four (4) cuts with a light cane to be administered in private by
a prison officer.
Count 2:- M120-00 or four (4) months' imprisonment suspended for
three years on condition that during the period of suspension
shall not be convicted of assault.
- Miss Moruthoane
Defence - Mr. Maqutu.
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