IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO In the
matter between:-R E X and
MATSHOHLO SEPIRITI 1st Accused
POLAO RASEBOKU 2nd Accused
SHAKHANE SEPIRITI 3rd Accused
MORELE LEQELA 4th Accused
J U D G M E N T
Delivered by the Honourable Mr. Justice J.L. Kheola on
the 22nd day of August, 1990
In count 1 the accused were charged with the murder of
Khafa Motlatsi Lesole on the 1st day of April, 1989 at Tiping in the
of Thaba-Tseka. In count 2 the accused were charged with
assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, it being alleged that
the 1st day of April, 1989 at Tiping in the district of
Thaba-Tseka they assaulted Lepolesa Matala and Kali Khabo by hitting
with sticks and whips all over the bodies with the intention of
causing them grievous bodily harm.
- 2 -
To these charges the accused tendered pleas of guilty to
culpable homicide and to common assault respectively. The Crown
the pleas in both counts and the counsel for the Crown
stated the facts as follows:
Some time before the 1st day of April, 1989 the accused
lost their bells which are normally fastened to cattle. On the 1st
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
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
deceased and the complainants and escorted them to the chief's place.
On the way the accused beat hell out of the deceased
The deceased was so severely beaten up that he became
tired and was unable to walk; they put him on horseback but he fell
times because he was obviously no longer in a condition to
ride a horse on his own. He died before they reached the chief's
According to the post-mortem report the deceased died as a
result of respiratory failure due to left pnemothorax. The left lung
completely collapsed. As far as the external injuries were
concerned he had a deep wound on the occipital part of the scalp,
whip injuries on the body, face, legs and arms, fracture of
the 4th and 5th ribs left side.
According to the medical report Lepolesa Matala had the
following injuries: contusion on the right hand and on the right
marks on the chest and rope marks and wounds on the arms.
He also had brain commotion. The doctor formed the opinion that the
of force applied in inflicting the above injuries was savage;
however, there were no permanent disabilities.
Regarding the injuries of Kali Khabo the medical report
indicates that he had whip marks all over the body, face, arms and
force had been used to inflict the injuries. There was
no permanent disability.
The facts were admitted by the defence counsel on behalf
of the accused.
In passing sentence my attention was drawn to the fact
that the accused were very angry because they had lost not only the
in question but also two sheep and a goat. Dogs were set
upon them by the deceased and his companions. One of their horses was
dead near the cattle post of the deceased. The second accused
was only seventeen years old at the relevant time.
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SENTENCE : Count 1:- A1, A3 and A4: Four
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 they
shall not be convicted of assault.
J.L. KHEOLA JUDGE
15th October, 1990.
For Crown - Miss Moruthoane For Defence - Mr.
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