FRANCISTOWN: A man of Sepalola cattlepost in the Tonota sub-district was on Wednesday found guilty of murdering his girlfriend.
Justice Bashi Moesi returned a verdict of guilty against Cheleketo Pitso, 39 for the January 29, 2015 murder of Segamang Bantwaetse at Sepalola. Pitso, who was represented by attorney Isaac Seleka, had elected to give unsworn evidence during his trial.
When delivering his judgement, Moesi said that after Pitso killed Bantwaetse, he told Shimane Lepang, his neighbour, who heard the deceased’s young child wailing, that Bantwaetse was relaxing in their room when Lepang enquired about the whereabouts of Bantwaetse.
Moesi also stated that Pitso gave contradictory evidence to Christopher Shimane who lived about 200 metres away. He told Shimane that he left Bantwaetse at a nearby stream because she said she was feeling dizzy.
“In the same breath, Pitso also told Shimane that he killed Bantwaetse and even went to the extent of asking Shimane to use his phone to inform the police that he had killed the deceased. “He even went to the stream where he killed Bantwaetse and brought her body back to his place using a wheelbarrow…
“Bantwaetse was certified dead upon arrival at the clinic… She was bleeding from the mouth and nose.
“Pitso also showed the police an Okapi knife and some sticks he used to kill the deceased,” Moesi said.
Moesi further stated that he was satisfied that Bantwaetse died due to an unlawful act that was caused by the accused. “She sustained life threatening and severe injuries that were not self-inflicted. The accused inflicted the injuries with an intention to cause grievous bodily harm.
“He also gave contradictory statements about the whereabouts of the deceased. His shoe prints were found at the scene of the crime. He also told the investigating officer that he left his girlfriend with one Bongani when he was on his way home from a party to sleep at night. “Pitso said that Bongani told him that Bantwaetse was his girlfriend adding that he was afraid of Bongani.
The issue of Bongani only surfaced in court. He never told the investigating officer about Bongani,” Moesi said. He added that he therefore found that Pitso was using Bongani as an alibi to exonerate himself from the charge. “I find the State has proven its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt and he is therefore convicted of murder…
I also make an order that Pitso should be fingerprinted to find out if he has previous offences or not. He should appear in court on July 9 for hearing on extenuating circumstances that may have led him to commit the offence,” Moesi said. Chimbisani Sechele represented the State.