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‘You are lucky you did not get a death sentence’- Court of Appeal

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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.
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Police discourage withdrawal of GBV cases

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Botswana Police Service has adopted a policy that discourages withdrawal of Gender Based Violence (GBV) related cases after they have been reported.

 Raising concern during the GBV Pitso ya Borre campaign official launch on Valentine’s Day held at Molepolole bus rank, Commissioner of Police Keabetswe Makgophe, said it seemed the police are now being used by some women who report cases only to withdraw them at a later stage.

 He said suspects get incarcerated and later on they face challenges of some intending to sue them for that, also that they have reports of victims being murdered following withdrawal of cases which the public end up blaming them.

“The choice of venue for this launch was mostly influenced by the fact that in the recent past Kweneng District experienced a surge of GBV related cases, mostly murder, rape and assault. The frequency at which murder cases were reported was alarming and brought fear to the residents and shocked the entire country,” said Makgophe at the well attended event.

According to the national statistics on GBV crimes, there were 1208 recorded cases of defilement in 2019 compared to 769 in 2018; indicating a 57 percent increase which is 439.

In her keynote address, the First Lady Neo Jane Masisi, appealed to the chiefs, churches, health practitioners, civil society organisations and the public to help GBV committees and the police in fighting GBV.

She encouraged the police to continue spreading the message across the country

Masisi also promised to continue with her mission in supporting GBV campaigns and also to seek assistance from outside the country.

 Pitso ya Borre campaign kick-started on February 8th, 2020 with educational campaigns targeting churches, schools, cattle posts, various organisations and wider male population.

The BPS took advantage of the mood of the day and distributed the roses to the men to present to their loved ones.

Held under the theme ‘Ending Gender Based Violence Starts With Me # emisakgokgontsho,’ the attendees included Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Thomas Kagiso Mmusi and other officials.   

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Son of BDP women’s wing SG accused of forging DIS boss signature

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Yes I was detained and questioned- Maruapula

A man rumoured to be romantically linked to the reigning Miss Botswana, Oweditse Phirinyane was this week allegedly nabbed and questioned for impersonating a Directorate Of Intelligence Services (DIS) agent.

The suspect, Mompati Maruapula is the son of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) women’s wing secretary General, Neo Maruapula.

He reportedly attracted law enforcement officers’s attention by uttering a false document, complete with a forged signature of the Director General of the DIS Peter Magosi as ‘proof” that he was employee of the DIS when he was not.

He allegedly produced the fake proof of employment in an attempt to fraudulently purchase a BMW vehicle limited addition at one of the car dealers in Gaborone, an eyewitness has claimed.

“The car dealership phoned the DIS to confirm and that is when law enforcement agencies were alerted and a sting operation was set in motion to nab him,” the source further narrated.

He was then told to come back at 2Pm for the car only for him to find security agents waiting to catch him.

Asked to comment on the incident Maruapula explained that he was not charged but simply questioned.

“They (Police) said they would get back to me. I have not yet been charged with any crime. I was briefly detained and released yes. It is true,” he said in a brief interview.

The DIS when quizzed about the matter referred The Voice to The Botswana Police.

“I cannot confirm nor deny your questions. Please liase with the Police for a full brief,” DISS spokesperson Edward Robert said.

Miss Botswana also refused to comment saying she would like to keep her private life private and quickly handed the phone to the recently divorced Maruapula who was in her company at the time.

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Montshiwa’s murder trial yet to start

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Trial date for the late Fairground Holdings Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Montshiwa’s murder case has been postponed as Judge Michael Mothobi is on sick leave.

The main suspect in this matter attorney David Modise and his co-accused- a traditional doctor Tumelo Tshukudu, today appeared at the Gaborone High Court for mention and confirmation of trial dates.

The 35-year-old lawyer is linked to the death of his client, Montshiwa, and he is facing another charge of stealing by agent.

He is currently out on bail awaiting trial.

Montshiwa was shot and killed on the 18th of October, 2015 at his house in Block 6 Gaborone.

It is said that Modise was the last person to communicate with Montshiwa just minutes before the CEO’s fatal shooting.

Police investigations revealed that between June 30 and October 17, 2015, Modise withdrew about P245 000 from Montshiwa’s Trust account.

The money according to the Investigating Officer Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo, was entrusted to Modise for the purchase of a plot for Montshiwa in Mogoditshane.

It is alleged that when Montshiwa realised that the money was missing from the Trust account, he communicated with Modise demanding to see him at his house on the night he was killed.

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