Death sentence lingers over Gantsi horror murder

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LOBATSE: Two Gantsi men who robbed, murdered and burnt their former employer in a horror case that shook the region, today face the death penalty before High Court judge, Abednego Tafa.

Tshiamo Kgalalelo, 31, and Mmika Mpe, 27, in January 2014 attacked Reinette Vorster, stealing her Toyota Hilux valued at P300,000, two cellphones and cash amounting to P11,000. The former employer had been driving from her farm to Gantsi at the time of the attack. The two then murdered Vorster and burnt her in the vehicle.

Kgalalelo was arrested on February 3, 2014 at Vorster’s farm and Mpe the day after in connection with a separate incident. The duo had also been charged with sexual assault, but the court acquitted them of those charges due to insufficient evidence.

The case was tried last year on July 26, 27 and 28 with Tafa handing down the guilty verdict on May 18 this year. The state called a total of 18 witnesses including the Ghanzi District detective superintendent, independent witnesses, a forensic pathologist and the investigating officer.

The case, already a high profile matter due to the nature of the crime and the prominence of the victim involved, gained further renown when President Ian Khama fired Gantsi principal magistrate, Thabo Malambane for reasons related indirectly to the two defendants.

Malambane told the media after his dismissal that his downfall was due to granting the two bail and questioning why their case had subsequently been moved to Lobatse. On the defence team, Gijima Archibald represents Kgalalelo whilst Themba Joina is representing Mpe.  Lezibo Emang is for the prosecution.

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