FRANCISTOWN: Justice Phadi Solomon on Tuesday sentenced a man who pummelled an alcohol merchant to death with an axe handle to 25 years in jail.
The accused, Gosegonna Seditse, was convicted of the murder of Keraetswe Maranga at Toteng village in the Ngamiland District in 2016.
However, Seditse escaped the hangman’s noose after Justice Solomon found that there were exceptional extenuating circumstances that influenced him to commit the offence.
The Judge said that if exceptional extenuating circumstances exist, the Court may pass any other sentence than the death penalty.
Among the extenuating circumstances that saved Seditse from the gallows was his rudimentary education.
“The accused only went as far as Standard 6 with his education, a factor which made him not to comprehend issues properly. He also showed remorse at the earliest opportunity by admitting to the offence. The applicant was of the belief that the deceased wanted to put him in trouble by reporting him to the police on an allegation of rape. I therefore, come to the conclusion that there were exceptional extenuating circumstances that influenced him to commit the offence,” Solomon noted.
When passing sentence, Justice Solomon said Seditse cooperated very well with the police
“In mitigation, I find that the accused cooperated well with the police. He did not attempt to tamper with their investigations, took them to the scene of crime and showed them the weapon that was used to kill the deceased. The accused is also a father of one child who solely looks up to him for her upkeep. Although the accused has a previous offence of causing malicious damage to property, I am tempted to tamper justice with mercy,” the judge said.
She added: “ The court has been urged to pass a sentence that will not break the accused but rehabilitate him. It is trite in law that punishment should rehabilitate and not break offenders. However, the courts are at the same time enjoined to pass sentences that would deter would be offenders. Taking all these factors into consideration, I sentence the accused to 25 years in jail which shall be backdated to August 20, 2016 when he was incarcerated”.