FRANCISTOWN: A 34-year-old man of Matenge village in the North East District, Disang Benjamin, was on Friday found guilty of killing his girlfriend, Bakang Cheche.
Benjamin killed Cheche on the morning of February 8, 2015 at Matenge following a lover’s dispute.
He used two Mophane tree logs and a stone to kill Cheche. According to Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe’s judgement, Cheche sustained head injuries.
“…The accused has distanced himself from killing the deceased. He chose to remain silent after his legal options were explained to him. At the close of the defence, this court ruled that he had a case to answer and should therefore be put to his defence,” Ketlogetswe said.
“… The first prosecution witness said on the morning of the incident, he saw the accused and deceased walking towards Shashe River. He said later that day, he saw the accused returning from the river alone while he (witness) was collecting firewood along the river.
“Another witness, Peter Matlho said he also saw the accused and deceased passing by his home towards the river… I ruled that he had a case to answer on the basis of that,” Ketlogetswe said.
“Bear in mind that the accused bears no honour to prove his case since that is purely the purview of the State to prove its case against him beyond reasonable doubt.
“There is uncontested evidence that the first prosecution witness saw the accused and deceased walking together towards the river… Another witness also said that he earlier on saw the accused and deceased passing by his home towards the river. He said he later went to the accused’s place to buy cigarettes but when he got there, the accused went inside his house and changed the clothes he was earlier on wearing. However, there is a contention whether the accused had changed his clothes or not,” Ketlogetswe said.
There is also a dispute between the State and defence whether the accused was the one who was last seen walking with the deceased towards the river.
“…Matlho’s evidence is that the man he saw with the deceased before she was killed was the accused… I have no doubt that the person who was seen with the deceased was the accused. The accused also went to show the police where he killed her and (left) her corpse.
“In conclusion, I arrive at the decision that the State has proven its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. He is therefore accordingly found guilty of the murder of the deceased… His bail shall and is hereby revoked,” Ketlogetswe said.
The judge added: “ … The accused shall appear for hearing on extenuating circumstances, mitigation and sentence on May 16 and 17 (2019)”. Gonayaone Ketlhapetswe represented the State while Wame Tafa stood for the accused.