Herdman on trial for 'murdering' another herdman

trial continued before Francistown High Court this week
trial continued before Francistown High Court this week

FRANCISTOWN: The trial of a Robelela herdman who allegedly murdered another herdman at Bolelaphiri cattlepost on April 20, 2019 continued before Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe on Tuesday.

The third prosecution witness, Tshephang Nokaneng, told the court that he knew the accused, Lempiditse Sebeti who is also known as Baile Lekokone because he (Sebeti) was his herdman.

Sebeti is on trial for allegedly murdering Ontshabile Banda Sentsho. Tshephang testified that on April 20, 2019, he and his mother (Ogomoditse Nokaneng) left Mmadinare for their cattlepost at Bolelaphiri.

Tshephang told the court that the purpose of going to Bolelaphiri was for among other reasons to check on their livestock and fix the door of Sebeti’s room since he (Sebeti) had previously complained that some people were stealing his properties because the door was not secure. “When we arrived in Bolelaphiri, we did not find Sebeti home. We even looked for Sebeti at the nearest cattlepost of our neighbour, Isaac Marata. I was also with builder Kitso Moatswi. At around 5 pm, two other people, Thabo Tsimako and Seleke, who I had forgotten his surname, also arrived. Shortly after Tsimako and Seleke arrived, dogs started barking in the direction of Seleke’s cattlepost. Seleke then told us that he was praying that the dogs were not barking near his cattlepost because he had been away for a while and feared that they (dogs) may have been eating his goats in his absence. We continued to fix the door of Sebeti’s room but the dogs did not stop barking. At that point, I agreed with Tsimako to go and investigate what the dogs were barking at. We took different routes in the direction to where the dogs were barking,” said Tshephang.

Tshephang added: “On our way to where the dogs were barking, Tsimako told me that it looks like the dogs were barking at something. I changed direction and went towards where Tsimako was heading. As I changed course, I saw Tsimako running towards me... Tsimako then told me that it looked like the dogs were eating something that looked like a human being. I then moved forward towards where the dogs were and I saw something that looked like a human being. We then decided to return to my place of residence to inform the elders (my mother Ogomoditse Seanokeng and Seleke) and to also call the police about what we saw...The police arrived around 9 pm and we informed them about our discovery... The police then took us to Mmadinare police station to record statements... The following day, we returned with the police to Bolelaphiri but we did not see Sebeti whom the police were looking for because it was said that he was the last person who was seen with Sentsho at an entertainment place at night.” Tshephang also told the court that On April 22, 2019, Sebeti arrived at his place in Mmadinare.

“After Sebeti arrived at my place, I asked him if I should call the police or take him to the police station because the police were looking for him because it was said that he was the last person who was seen with Sentsho. I did not know who the remains that we saw in Bolelaphiri belonged to but people who were present after the police arrived said that the remains belonged to Sentsho. The people who were saying so said that they could recognise that the charred remains belonged to Sentsho because they could see his feet which were not burnt. Before I called the police after Sentsho arrived at my place of residence in Mmadinare, Sebeti told me that he had fought with him (Sentsho) after returning home in Bolelaphiri only to find Sentsho burning all his clothes. Sebeti told me that he escaped but Sentsho still pursued him... The accused then told me that he got angry and hit Sentsho with a knobkerrie. Sebeti further told me that whilst he was hitting Sentsho with the knobkerrie, it broke and he then took a spade and hit Sentsho with it. Thereafter, the accused did not tell me anything,” said Tshephang.

Attorneys Kagiso Jani and Armstrong Maruping represent the accused and prosecution respectively in the continuing matter.

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