If he had his way, Court of Appeal Judge Monametsi Gaongalelwe would have all males who kill their girlfriends, hanged.
This seemed to be the chilling implication this week as Justice Gaongalelwe upheld a 25-year jail sentence against David Mbi imposed by a Francistown High Court for the murder of his girlfriend eight years ago. “It is high time the courts send a clear message to the males of this country that a girlfriend is equally entitled to terminate a love relationship in the same way that a man does,” Justice Gaongalelwe said when dismissing the appeal.
“This is a case where the appellant must consider himself very lucky in the court quo finding extenuating circumstances. The facts are such that another court could have rightly found that there were no extenuating circumstances and would have imposed a death sentence,” Justice Gaongalelwe added.
Mbi was convicted of brutally killing his lover, Khumbulani Kabelo, by slitting her throat back in October 4, 2012 in Tutume Village.
At the time of the incident, the duo had two children aged seven and two years respectively.
The court heard that on the fateful night at around 22.00 hrs; the deceased was in the company of another man when Mbi attacked them with a knife.
Mbi is said to have stabbed the deceased multiple times and slit her throat as reflected in the post-mortem report.
When dismissing the appeal, the CoA observed that the statement of facts reflects that on seeing the two walking together, Mbi suspected that the man was his girlfriend’s lover. “There is nothing indicating the cause of this suspicion. In fact the record contains a statement made by the said man who says the deceased was his co-worker and that on the fateful day they simply met by chance on the way to the shops,” reads the judgment.
The judgment further states; “if the appellant has good cause to believe he two were lovers, such would not have helped him in view of the brutality with which he executed his acts. Moreover he was following the two already carrying a knife. He never made any attempt at explaining the carrying of that knife.”
The judges further ruled that a plea of guilty is simply a factor for mitigation of sentence.
“A simple plea of guilty cannot qualify as it does not fall within the category of facts associated with the commission of the crime. A plea of guilty cannot constitute an extenuating factor. This is because by nature and definition extenuating factors are those facts which have a bearing on the commission of the crime…these are factors which were either probably operative in the mind of the offender at the time of the commission of the offence or which probably influenced him to act,” further reads the dismissal appeal.
“In an appropriate case a court would still be entitled to impose a death sentence despite the finding of extenuating circumstance,” the judgment further reads.
Politicians clash over Covid-19 meeting
The fight against Covid-19 stepped into the periphery of partisan politics this week as the absence of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leaders sparked accusations and counter-accusations over their invitation to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s closed meeting.
UDC President, Duma Boko and party vice president, Dumelang Saleshando, were not part of the delegation that attended the three-hour long meeting.
Although Masisi stated that Boko, like other party leaders was invited, the UDC has vehemently denied the claim.
In a press release that was issued last night the UDC said. “We have noted the events that have been evolving around the Covid-19 pandemic, its a serious matter that requires all of us to work genuinely. We value and encourage national dialogue on important matters such as the fight against Covid 19. The truth is that the UDC president has not received any invitation from Office of the President and we call OP to provide proof.”
However, when the UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa was asked about calls made to him by OP, he said, ” I was asked about Boko’s whereabouts by Kaelo Molefe and I told him I was in Phikwe. I asked him to check him at his house. This morning I got another call from Professor Mpho Molomo who said he had Boko’s invitation to a meeting with President Masisi and I suggested that they go to his house, an address which is popular within the government enclave. I indicated to him that I had received a similar call from Kaelo Molefhe and he said he was with him. Kaelo knows where Boko stays having been his associate in the build-up to the 2014 General Elections. So quite frankly I doubt he would say he does not know Boko’s house. As regards Nick and Keorapetse I cannot comment on their behalf, ” explained Mohwasa last night.
Dithapelo Keorapetse too said that the OP was being playful. “Why would they contact me for DGB? They are aware of his PA, VP, Secretary General, Spokesperson and UDC NEC. These are the people from who to check him. Whoever wants the UDC President from me for official things is playing. The state has been to his house several times. How did they suddenly forget his place of abode? Even Kaelo knows Boko’s House from his UDC days, ” said Keorapetse.
The accusations did not go well with the BDP Chairman of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, who expressed concern that the UDC was turning a pandemic into a political mudsling.
He said that all efforts including calls, text, WhatsApp messages to Boko, Moeti, Keorapetse and Boko’s bodyguard were made without any success. “There is a communication trail to prove this. UDC must know when to come to the table and be patriotic on issues on national interest such as COVID-19, its very disappointing for a party calling themselves an alternative government to behave in this manner but Batswana are watching and we know they will punish them for this.”
BPF opposes 6 months State of Emergency
Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) president, Biggie Butale, yesterday broke ranks with other opposition leaders parties as a opposed a six-months long State of Emergency proposed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi, at a closed meeting.
Although other party leaders such as the president of Botswana Movement for Democracy, Sidney Pilane, Vice president of Alliance for Progressives, Wynter Mmoltsi and Gaontebale Mokgosi of Real Alternative Party, supported Masisi’s move, BPF took a different stand. “State of Emergency must be used only in extreme circumstances and now we at BPF are not comfortable with it because once it becomes a habit, maybe in the future government may not be as kind as the current government and find an opportunity to abuse it.”
Butale however said that the meeting for all party leaders was useful and that it would go a long way in enhancing Botswana’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Masisi’s call for six months of State of Emergency follows the unrelenting global rise in coronavirus cases of which Botswana has since recorded.
Today Masisi was scheduled to meet cabinet and all members of Parliament as he continies to lobby for a six-months long State of Emergency.
The president has since explained that should the situation improves then they will stick to the initial 28-day lockdown plan which started on the 2nd and ends on April 30th.