FRANCISTOWN: A 27-year-old man of Sefhophe village was on Tuesday sentenced to death for hacking the wife of his employer to death with an axe.
Mmoloki Pholo was sentenced to the gallows on his guilty plea for murdering Kemme Mercy Sebolao, 44, at Bonnonyane cattlepost near Sefhophe on January 14, 2018.
Sebolao met her fate after her husband sent her to the cattle post to take water to Pholo who they had hardly been employed for a month. The court heard that before murdering Sebolao, Pholo spent the day raping her before he murdered her and thereafter attempted to bury her body.
Passing the ultimate sentence of death, Justice Tshegofatso Mogomotsi said that Pholo was convicted of murder with no extenuating circumstances. “In sentencing the accused, I shall take into account the gravity of the offence he committed. The accused used an axe to chop the deceased not once, twice, but thrice on the head. When the deceased was being murdered, she was lying on a mattress that the accused had given to her.
"The deceased was exhausted after the accused tormented her for the whole day. I shall also take into account the cruelty that was meted out on the deceased when she met her fate. The accused also stabbed the deceased with a screwdriver, hit her with a log on the head and then tried to bury her,” Mogomotsi said.
Mogomotsi stated that when the deceased tried to escape, the accused followed her with her car and caught up with her then tormented her again. “The court shall also take into consideration that the accused pleaded guilty to the offence and did not waste the court’s time. This is a sign of remorse on his part. However, the accused cannot be said to be immature at the time he committed the offence considering the cruelty he subjected the deceased to. Sentences that are passed by the court should be proportional to the offences committed. Even though the deceased’s life will not be restored, the court should pass sentences that act as deterrents to would-be offenders,” Mogomotsi stated. The judge further said that issues of gender-ased violence in Botswana, especially against women for no apparent reason, are prevalent.
“This situation enjoins the courts to pass deterrent sentences. In this case, the accused is sentenced to death. He shall be hanged by the neck until he dies. He has the right to appeal his conviction, sentence or both at the Court of Appeal within 14 days from today (Tuesday),” Mogomotsi said.