Mmegi Online :: Killer soldier should be detained at presidentís pleasure
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Last Updated
Monday 11 December 2017, 03:12 am.
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Killer soldier should be detained at presidentís pleasure

FRANCISTOWN: A mentally unsound Botswana Defence Force (BDF) private who brutally killed his two young children may be detained at the pleasure of the president at a safe mental facility or in jail.
By Lebogang Mosikare Fri 22 Apr 2016, 10:40 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Killer soldier should be detained at presidentís pleasure








Both the defence and prosecution attorneys in the matter pleaded with the court to depart from the normal practice of sending accused persons to jail but should instead send Thebe Ndjavera, 26, to a mental facility so that he can rehabilitate.

In 2013, Ndjavera killed his two young children aged two and four at Somerset East location. Neighbours found the children in a pool of blood after Ndjavera killed them.

Ndjavera’s attorney Reneetswe Rabosotho and state counsel Kuda Mbonini from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said the accused was mentally ill when he committed the offences.

Rabosotho said all the parties in the matter are of the view that Ndjavera should not be held responsible for his actions because he was insane at the time he committed the offences. “…We are of the view that in as much as the legislation says that an insane person cannot be held criminally responsible for his actions, it would be improper for the court to go against common sense and call the same person to answer for charges he committed when he was insane,” said Rabosotho.

He added: “When in the course of a trial or preparatory examination the judicial officer has reason to believe that the accused is of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence, he shall inquire into the fact of such unsoundness, which has been amply explained by the psychiatrist in this case.

“We urge the court to file Ndjavera’s mental report to his Excellency for consideration and pray court to take the accused to a mental institution at the pleasure of the president,” said Rabosotho.

Earlier, psychiatrist Dr Paul Sidandi said the accused was sent to Jubilee Hospital for consultation to see if he was fit to be sent to a trip with others.

“The BDF psychologist was concerned about Ndjavera because he was suspicious that he was using drugs although Ndjavera told him he quit using drugs in 2011. It was decided that if he was using drugs, his condition will

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escalate if he was deployed on a trip,” said Sidandi.

Touching on Ndjavera’s personal history, Sidandi said the accused met his live-in girlfriend at Minestone in 2011 and she fell pregnant thereafter.

“At first he denied being the father of the child but he later reluctantly accepted being the father. The girlfriend later gave birth to the second child but this time he accepted responsibility,” said Sidandi.

Sidandi said Ndjavera started smoking cannabis but stopped in 2011 adding that he also started drinking alcohol in 2002 until 2013. He said: “In 2012, the accused caused commotion at his parents’ home. He broke furniture for no apparent reasons but he was not drunk at the time. He then tried to burn himself inside the house by igniting the cylinder of the cooking gas but was stopped by his neighbours. It was later found out that he was suffering from depression and was prohibited from handling firearms by the BDF for six months.” Sidandi stated that the accused went away from work without leave and started drinking alcohol everyday.

“The accused later deserted work again on two occasions for no reasons and was detained for some days in the BDF holding cells. He told his superiors that he was bored and did not like his job…He also said that his girlfriend was exploiting him but I later learnt that she was just showing affection towards the accused because she forgave him for what he did and visited him in prison,” said Sidandi.

In conclusion, Sidandi said he leaves it to the court to determine where the accused should be placed at.

“…A 2010 court of appeal ruling found out that Sbrana Mental Hospital is not as secure as first thought…I leave it to the court to decide the best placement for the accused. Those in his state of mind are usually taken care of at prisons or at special mental health facilities,” said Sidandi.

Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo will deliver a ruling on the matter on September 16.

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