Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo on Friday sentenced two murder-accused persons to death for masterminding the killing of Vincent Mopipi, a Deluxe cab driver.
The duo, Matshidiso Boikanyo and Moabi Mabiletsa were charged with a single count of murder, which occurred on September 13, 2013 at Block 9 in Gaborone. The court revealed that the two accused persons fatally stabbed Mopipi with a knife 44 times in Block 9 where he was supposed to drop them off.
Passing the sentence, Dibotelo said on the fateful night, the duo phoned Deluxe cab office for transport from Tlokweng, and that they were waiting at Eros Bar in Tlokweng and Mopipi was assigned to drop them off at University of Botswana (UB) .
He said after boarding the cab, the duo changed their destination saying that they were no longer going to UB, but to Block 9 where on arrival, they killed him and dumped his body by the roadside.
In his judgement, the Chief Justice said Boikanyo’s evidence failed to prove that he was intoxicated on that fateful night.
“Even when giving evidence, you did not mention that you ever smoked drugs that you told court you were selling that could have affected your state of mind or influenced your actions that fateful night. Even though in your evidence you mentioned to have had beers at Zamalek bar, there was no evidence that you were intoxicated.
What you said is that you secured the service of a prostitute and after finishing with her, you went home to sleep to prepare yourself for the next morning trip to Ramotswa where you were intending to illegally cross the border to South Africa to purchase dagga that you were selling, therefore intoxication cannot be used as circumstances to reduce your sentence,” Dibotelo said.
He said that furthermore back in 2013, Boikanyo was an adult because he was aged 28 years, hence youthful acts cannot be used as a fact to reduce the sentence.
As for Mabiletsa, Dibotelo also said he failed to convince
“I do not agree that there was no permutation to murder the deceased. Even in your part, youthfulness cannot be used to reduce your sentence because that time you were almost 26-years-old because you were 25-years and seven months old, certainly you were not a teenager but an adult. Therefore, there is no evidence of circumstances that you acted as a result of youthfulness,” Dibotelo said.
He went on to rule out the possibility that Mabiletsa might have been intoxicated because the evidence from his girlfriend proved that he returned home not drunk.
“But in your evidence, you claimed that your girlfriend saw you drunk that fateful night. You claimed that you returned home after the bars were closed after midnight whilst she told the court that you came in the morning. Even if you had alcohol you were not intoxicated, therefore I see that you both planned the deceased’s murder,” Dibotelo said.
He said that the accused persons were cruel as the wounds on the album showing the deceased’s photos is like they were stabbing a goat or an ox. He said the photos show that they stabbed him all over his body and he also sustained injuries on his ribs, heart and kidneys.
“You have previous convictions of robbery committed 10 years ago, but I will not use it as part of my sentence. I however sentence both of you to death and you will all be hanged by your neck until you die.
You have the right to appeal the sentence to the Court of Appeal within six weeks from today,” Dibotelo said on Friday.