A 27-year-old man of Yookae cattlepost near Letlhakane in the Central District has lost his appeal to have his sentence reduced.
A bench of three Court of Appeal judges, Jacobus Brand, Monametsi Gaongalelwe and Abednego Tafa, dismissed the application.
Oteng Gabakalelwe was in 2016 sentenced to 18 years in jail for killing his girlfriend, Oakantse Galentebale in 2011 over claims that he caught her sleeping with another man.
“I do not think it can be said the sentence of 18 years’ imprisonment in this case demonstrates a failure by the trial court to exercise its discretion properly.
“On the contrary, although the sentence imposed is a severe one, I do not believe it can be said to be unfair. Sight should never be lost of the fact that the appellant deprived the deceased of her life. In addition, he deprived the deceased’s young daughter of a mother she will now never know,” Brand said while delivering the judgement.
During trial, both the State and defence attorneys, Moffat Dick and Ludo Lowa respectively, agreed that there were extenuating circumstances that led to the accused killing his girlfriend.
They agreed that his girlfriend was cheating on him with one Sepekere, which provoked the accused.
“The accused person has stated that the deceased was cheating on him with Sepekere because he saw them the previous night together and also found them sleeping together.
“When the accused enquired why she was doing that, the deceased told him that he was not sexually satisfying her. These words clearly hurt the
“The State submits that although the appellant’s provocation could not be used as a defence to murder someone, surely it ought to be viewed as an extenuating factor because it played a huge role in the ultimate commission of the offence,” Dick said then.
He added: “The accused stated that he drank all night and in the morning when he went to the borehole where he met the deceased…We concede that drunkenness influenced the accused to act in the manner in which he did”.
Immaturity on the part of the accused, Dick said, also played a major role for him to commit the offence.
“The accused was 20-years-old when he committed the offence, hence the State concedes that he was surely very young to handle the matter like mature people,” Dick said. Justice Zibani Makhwade said that having read all papers that were filed by the State and defence, he was satisfied that there were indeed extenuating circumstances that led to the commission of the offence.
“I am satisfied that there are extenuating factors that led the accused to commit the offence… The other extenuating factor that works in the favour of the accused is that he did not plan to kill the deceased,” Makhwade said.