“Women in our society walk literally in the shadow of death not knowing when the potential monster in their lovers will show itself,” declared Judge Lot Moroka, his stern, booming voice echoing eerily through the tense courtroom.
Moments later, the man in the curly white wig sentenced Onkemetse Baseki to 20 years in jail.
The 31-year-old was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, Mpho Keiponye in a bloody showdown in Moletemane village [Bobonong] on 3rd February 2011.
On that fateful day over 10 years ago, Baseki – aged just 20 at the time – dragged his former lover from her home, where she had been peacefully drinking tea with friends.
Once in the yard, he smashed her over the head repeatedly with an iron rod and then fled to the bush.
Although the police were promptly called, it was already too late and by the time Keiponye was rushed to the clinic, she was pronounced dead on arrival.
The cops quickly tracked down Baseki, who is said to have confessed during interrogation, even handing over the murder weapon.
However, in court Baseki maintained his innocence, insisting he was never at the crime scene and denied ever laying a finger on the deceased.
Passing sentence, Judge Moroka warned that while he would take into account the killer’s personal circumstances, he intended to hand out a sentence that sent a message to society.
“The young man is a first offender; he has been on medication since he was incarcerated because of his mental state. I therefore sentence him to 20 years in prison backdated to the 20th of August last year,” he ruled.
Walking out of court in shackles and under a heavy armed escort, should he survive life in prison, Baseki will next breath free air as a 50-year-old man.
He should count himself lucky, however, as the following day, Judge Moroka dished out the death penalty to another convicted killer, Atlholang ‘Two-Metre’ Mujangi – a fate that so easily could have been Baseki’s!