Girlfriend’s death leads to change of assault to murder charge

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PALAPYE: A 27-year-old man was shocked yesterday to learn that the woman he was accused of assaulting has since died, and therefore would now be charged with murder.

According to the prosecution, when the accused was first arraigned he was facing an assault charge but it has since been altered to murder.

According to the charge sheet, Boifang Ntikela of Moatshe ward in Chadibe village had on May 24, 2015 at Dithapa ward in Ngwapa village unlawfully assaulted 27-year-old Kedibonye Dikonye.  The accused was said to have inflicted injuries that could have led to the victim’s passing on May 30, 2015.

The prosecutor, Sesafeleng Dijeng of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), pleaded with the court to make amendments in the first charge sheet as she said the charge had since changed.

“The victim in the matter had since passed away so I plead with the court to allow me to make some amendments in the charge sheet since the charge had now changed to murder. The accused was first charged with assault common so now because the victim in the matter had died from the said assault, the charge has to change,” said Dijeng.

While seemingly surprised, the unemployed Ntikela accepted the amendments in the charge sheet.

Allegations are that on the said date, the accused stabbed the mother of his children, Dikonye, with a knife under her left hand, which led to hospitalisation at the Mahalapye Primary Hospital. It is alleged that this happened after the two lovebirds had a misunderstanding in which the accused suspected that the deceased was cheating on him with another man.

Meanwhile, the prosecution prayed for the accused to be further remanded in custody as she said investigations were still at the initial stage.

“The investigations in the matter are still at the initial stage. Therefore I pray for the accused to be further remanded in custody to give the officer a chance to complete the investigations,” said Dijeng.

Magistrate Gofaone Mosweu ruled that the accused be further remanded and that he should appear again in court on June 23, 2015.

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