FRANCISTOWN: The idiom crime does not pay replicated itself at the High Court Tuesday when a man was found guilty of murdering his best friend.
According to information that was presented in court, the convict, Othusitse Motefu (28) and his friend Unangoni Bulayani Dolomane went to drink alcohol at a certain bar in Selebi-Phikwe on August 31, 2013.
While still entertaining themselves at the bar, the duo, who were described as rascals and a nuisance by Justice Zibani Makhwade, decided to rob one bar patron of his P100.
The court heard that after Dolomane robbed the bar patron, who later testified as the first prosecution witness in the matter, he passed on the money to Motefu. The bar patron saw what happened and he immediately demanded Dolomane and Motefu return his money. A scuffle ensued between the bar patron and the duo after they refused to give him his money. “Motefu picked a stone in a bid to hit the bar patron. He unfortunately hit Dolomane on the head. Motefu was initially charged with assault occasioning bodily harm but the offence was later changed to murder after
Justice Makhwade agreed with the prosecution that even though Motefu was not aiming his stone at Dolomane, the charge of murder under the circumstances was an appropriate one especially taking into consideration the doctrine of transferred intent or transferred malice.
This is a legal doctrine that holds that, when the intention to harm one individual inadvertently causes a second person to be hurt instead, the perpetrator is still held responsible.
In mitigation, Motefu’s attorney Isaac Seleka pleaded with the court to be lenient when sentencing Motefu because he is a breadwinner for his family.
He also added that Motefu committed the offence at an alcohol drinking spot but did not intend to kill the deceased. Makhwade ruled in Motefu’s favour saying that the stone that killed the deceased was not aimed at him. Attorney Esmeril Baganetswe represented the State in the matter. Sentence is scheduled for February 15, 2018.