FRANCISTOWN: High Court judge, Lot Moroka sent a Tutume man of Magapatona ward behind bars for 20 years on Tuesday for the murder of his married paramour.
Tshepo Matlhape will serve his two-decade jail term following his conviction for the murder of Kebalepile Motlanye on November 6, 2016, in Tutume in an event which left the Magapatona community shocked.
Passing the sentence, Moroka said Matlhape’s actions cannot be justified under any circumstances adding that there were, however, exceptional extenuating circumstances that warranted the court not to pass the ultimate sentence of death.
Moroka said that it is trite that when passing a sentence, punishment should be aimed at rehabilitating offenders and should take into consideration the interests of the accused, justice, and society.
He added that punishment should also be proportionate to the offence committed.
“The personal circumstances of the convict should be taken into consideration. The convict only went up to Form 2 with his education,” said the judge.
“The convict was disrespectful to the husband of the deceased. He was in the habit of forcefully taking her in the presence of her husband. His mother tried to admonish the convict against such behaviour but he didn't heed that honest advice. The deceased and her husband had three children together. In mitigation, the convict claimed that he also had three children with the deceased which is, however, not true. The convict was very disrespectful to the deceased’s husband. "He once broke the leg of the convict but the police did not bring such proof before the court. I will, therefore, treat him as a first offender,” Moroka said.
"Murder," Moroka explained, was "a very serious offence".
“The convict took the life of a mother who had three children and a husband. Crimes of passion are occurring much too often and are evidence of domestic violence, which courts will always frown upon. A message should be sent to the offender and any like-minded, that violence, in this day and age of civilised human behaviour, will not be tolerated, no matter the circumstances. Taking into consideration, all the above factors, I sentence the convict to 20 years in jail. His sentence shall be backdated to March 30, 2022, when he was incarcerated. He has the right to appeal both his conviction and sentence within six weeks from today,” Moroka ruled.