Following his conviction for unlawful possession of drugs and the consequent 15-year jail sentence and a P100 000 fine, Kenathebe Lekoko is back in court appealing the sentence that was imposed on him by the Maun Magistrate in July last year.
The 33-year-old man of Phaleng ward in Shoshong was allegedly found in possession of more than 110mg of Methcathinone on the 12th of July 2019 at Boseja ward in Maun and was charged for illegal possession of drugs by Maun police.
Lekoko through his attorney, Clifford Foroma, argues that the trial court in sentencing him did not take into consideration the exceptional extenuating circumstances in the matter.
“Our heads of argument are that he was never asked to address the court with regard to extenuating circumstances, circumstances should be addressed before imposing sentence,” argued Foroma.
In his argument Foroma revealed that his client was coerced into pleading guilty by a certain police officer after initially pleading not guilty to the offence.
“The court did not ascertain as to whether his plea of guilt was unequivocal and that there was no influence that made him suddenly change his plea from not guilty to guilty after the second prosecution witness gave evidence in court,” added Foroma.
Initially Lekoko had denied knowledge of the drugs and told the court that he had spent a night at a friend’s house where the drugs were kept when the police came and searched.
Foroma believes that had the extenuating circumstances been addressed, Lekoko would have had a lesser sentence.
The previous court had advised that anybody who commits such an offence shall be liable to imprisonment term, without the option of a fine, and without the suspension of any part, for not less than 15 years or more than 20 years, and to a fine not exceeding P1 000 000 or in default of the fine, to an additional term of imprisonment of not less than 5 years or more than 7 years.
The court of appeal is yet to make a decision on the matter.