Combi driver found guilty of manslaughter


The Gaborone High Court has found Randy Motlhokodise guilty of manslaughter for the death of Onalethata Ketlhalefile. Motlhokodise was initially charged with murder for the death of Ketlhalefile, but following a lengthy trial, the court determined that he was guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Delivering the verdict on Friday, Justice Michale Leburu stated that the State had provided enough evidence to support its case. Leburu highlighted that the court heard that in 2015, Motlhokodise had given Ketlhalefile a lift in his combi from Mookane. According to court records, "the deceased had caused chaos and was drinking beer in the combi. Upon reaching his bus stop in Malotwana, the deceased demanded change from the accused, who refused to give it to him, citing the deceased's disruptive behaviour in the combi." Leburu then read the court statements that stated, "the accused took off while the deceased was still holding onto the combi door, causing him to fall under the vehicle. The deceased was then run over by the combi".

Court papers indicated that Motlhokodise had put Ketlhalefile in his car and later dumped him off in the bush. It is said that during the trial, the accused claimed that the car coming from behind was the one that had hit the deceased and that he did not run over him with his combi. However, Justice Leburu stated that the court concurred with the prosecution’s argument that Ketlhalefile had been run over by the combi. "From the evidence, it shows that there is a link between the deceased and the accused," stated Leburu. In his judgment, the judge highlighted the duty of care that Motlhokodise had towards the deceased. "By putting the deceased in his car and subsequently dumping his body in the bushes, the accused had displayed negligence. "As a result, the accused is found guilty of manslaughter," Leburu remarked. Following the verdict, Justice Leburu announced that Motlhokodise's bail will be extended until March 6, allowing time for mitigation.

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