Mmegi Online :: State fails to nail self-confessed abortionist
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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State fails to nail self-confessed abortionist

FRANCISTOWN: A Letlhakane woman who admitted to being an abortionist during her murder trial has been convicted of a lesser charge of manslaughter.
By Staff Writer Sun 23 Sep 2018, 13:16 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: State fails to nail self-confessed abortionist








Her bail was immediately revoked after she was convicted as she now awaits sentence. Forty-year-old Ketlaletswe Passman will appear in court today for sentencing.

Justice Tshepho Motswagole said that though the state has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Passman deserved a charge of murder, it was upon the court to convict on a lesser charge of manslaughter. "I am afraid that the state has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt on the charge of murder," said Motswagole.

"I therefore acquit Passman on the offence of murder and charge her with an offence of manslaughter as she has unlawfully caused the death of Omphemetse Maruping," Motswagole stated.

He said the accused unlawfully caused the death of Maruping by causing injuries to her cervix, while trying to terminate her five months pregnancy in 2008. "The deceased died at the hands of the accused, who later tried to dispose of the evidence by putting her in a wheelbarrow and throwing her corpse away. She knew that her actions were unlawful, hence her refusal to report to police," Motswagole said.

The court heard that the deceased went to Passman's house in June 2008 for an abortion. The accused is said to have put a syringe with sunlight liquid into the private parts of the deceased. She also used objects like scissors and glasses. After emptying the syringe, the deceased is said to have twisted

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her head and started foaming in the mouth.

Passman tried to wake her up, to no avail. She then called the woman who had introduced her to the deceased.

Initially the woman was charged jointly with Passman but was later discharged during trial and used as an accomplish witness. Upon the woman's arrival, Passman asked her to assist her in destroying the evidence. When the witness refused, Passman proceeded to destroy the evidence.

She removed the body on a wheelbarrow to dispose of it while the witness ran away.Motswagole stated that he clearly believed the evidence of the accomplish witness as it is straightforward. He said the evidence corroborates that of the pathologist.

The pathologist's report showed injuries on the cervix and a foetus surrounded by foam water. The pathologist indicated that the injuries were very fresh therefore excluding any attempted prior abortion. On her unsworn evidence, Passman has said that she was not aware that the deceased was five months pregnant. "She told me she was only two months," she said.

"Had I known she was five, I would have refused to terminate the pregnancy because I do not terminate pregnancies above two months," she confidently told the court. She asserted that she has terminated many pregnancies but this was the first of its kind. She claimed the deceased had attempted terminating the pregnancies on several occasions before coming to her.

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