Two armed robbers who subjected a Maun woman to a night of hell on Independence Day back in 2018, have been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each.
43-year-old local Moagi Gabantheetse and Zimbabwean national Lloyd Choto, 37, were convicted of a single count of robbery as well as theft of a motor vehicle.
Following their conviction back in December, the two men received their punishments before Maun Magistrates Court this week.
It could have been worse for the duo as they received 10 years for robbery and a further five years for the car theft.
However, instead of sentencing the thieves to 15 years behind bars, Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalo tempered justice with mercy, ruling the sentences would run concurrently.
As the two men have already spent a considerable amount of time in jail – Gabantheetse has been locked up for one year, one month, and 24 days while Choto has been in prison for two years, one month and five days – the sentences were backdated to the original time of incarceration.
Nevertheless, for the victim, Josephine Moetse, the ruling brings a happy end to what has been a nightmare ordeal.
After the pair’s conviction, Moetse had told Okavango Voice, “I lived in a lot of fear. I would hallucinate at times. I had to move to my mother’s house because I couldn’t stay by myself. One of the men said he is going to ‘blast me’ when he comes out, I just hope they will be put in jail for a long time!”
In a follow-up interview after her tormentors were consigned to a decade in the slammer, Moetse declared she was happy with the sentence.
“I’m glad they will be locked up. I can finally move on with my life now that the case has been finalized,” stated the visibly relieved woman.
During the trial, it was heard the thieves broke into Moetse’s Gxhabara ward home in the early hours of 30 September 2018, setting off the alarm in the process. They were armed with a pick-axe and machete.
Roused from her bed by the noise, a naked Moetse was startled by the intruders in the hallway as she went to turn off the alarm.
In her testimony, Moetse revealed that the two men beat and dragged her to the bedroom where they dressed her and demanded money.
“I gave them my handbag and they took P300 from it. They took my cellphone and ATM card and asked for the pin. Thereafter they tied me up and drove me in my car to an unfamiliar bush where Choto left me with Gabantheetse while he went to cash out the money from my account.”
After failing to withdraw the money, the two assailants left Moetse in the bush. She eventually managed to untie herself and ran towards the nearest homestead, where she borrowed a phone and called the police.
Her car was found abandoned in a field along Maun’s Route 9 later that day.