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Man sentenced to death for child murder

Justice Phadi Solomon
FRANCISTOWN: A 34-year-old man of Motshotha ward in Lesenepole was recently sentenced to death for the callous murder of a child and 15 years for the murder of his girlfriend.

The convict, Phemelo Botogeleng, was found guilty of murdering Annah Simon at Sesarweng lands in the Central Administrative District of Botswana on May 5, 2011.

On the second count, Botogeleng was found guilty of murdering his child, Atang Simon, still at Sesarweng lands on May 5 in 2011.

Passing judgment, Justice Phadi Solomon sentenced Botogeleng to 15 years imprisonment effective from November 11, 2019 when he was convicted. This was for the murder of Annah. 

“Having found that no extenuating circumstances exist, Section 203 (1) of the Penal Code mandates that the accused shall be sentenced to death. The accused is therefore, sentenced to death and shall be hanged by his neck until he dies. May God have mercy on his soul,” said Solomon on the second count.

During his defence submissions on mitigation, the accused through his attorney Wada Nfila said Botogeleng was of limited education having attained no more than a junior school certificate.

“As a result of the limited educational attainment, the accused is unsophisticated and belongs to a class of people who are most prone to committing criminal offences. The accused is a first offender. Even though

he is relatively young, it must be credited to him that it was his first criminal act though he belongs to a class of people susceptible to committing crimes,” Nfila pleaded. 

He added: The accused person was immature at the time he committed the offences. He was barely out of his teenage years being on the verge of his twenty-fourth birthday at the time. We submit without a doubt that the accused’s immaturity and concomitant lack of self-control played a huge role in the commission of the offences. The offences were committed in the heat of passion when the accused was overwhelmed by feelings of morbid jealousy at the material time. It is common cause that the accused harboured feelings of jealousy. The accused person was without a job at the time of committing the offences. This would have amplified his sense of grief at being cheated on by his lover, Annah. In the premises, we humbly urge the honourable Court to tamper justice with mercy and pass a sentence that will not break the accused person’s back”. 

Neo Machola represented the state in the matters.


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