Murder Convict Ntwaagae Freed

Ntwaagae (holding a white plastic bag)
Ntwaagae (holding a white plastic bag)

The Court of Appeal has freed Matshidiso Ntwaagae, the woman who was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2011 for hacking her boyfriend to death.

On releasing Ntwaagae on Thursday, Justice Monametsi Gaongalelwe said that the state had failed to successfully discredit the defence’ argument that the former waitress at O’Hagans in Gaborone, killed her boyfriend, Pule Letota in self-defence.

Gaongalelwe said the state had failed to provide irrefutable evidence to the effect that Ntwaagae was the aggressor and that the murder was pre-meditated.

He said the High Court erred in accepting the state’s submission that she was the aggressor and had deliberately struck the deceased first, without fully examining her submission that the deceased pulled her with a scarf as she lay in bed in an attempt to strangle her.

Meanwhile Ntwaagae, during her appeal, had submitted through her attorney Kgosietsile Ngakaagae that the High Court had erred in condemning her as it had failed to appreciate that her action was purely in self-defence. “Our argument will be on the basis that the state failed in proving their case and we submit that the self defence was not sufficiently disclosed,” he said.

Ngakaagae said it was critical that the court should note that Ntwaagae was defending herself in a situation where she most likely would have been the dead person had she not acted vigorously.

He submitted that it was not immediately possible for his client to realise that the object in her hand was an axe owing to the fact that it was semi-dark in the room at the time.


However Pascal Mhandu representing the state argued that the fact that Ntwaagae had a fight with the deceased’s other girlfriend and then later followed him was a clear indication that she was in for a fight. “Ntwaagae was the one who was the aggressor in the case, she fought with the other girlfriend then forced her way into the deceased’s house despite being told several times to leave and go home,” he said.

He said there was even no evidence to show that she sustained injuries as a result of being strangled as she claimed.

“No person who has been strangled to a point that she was unconscious for some time, would have the strength to hit someone eleven times especially on the head,” he said.

Mhandu also argued it was a lie to say Ntwaagae did not know she was holding an axe since the room where the killing happened was not dark. He said Ntwaagae in her sworn statement had said that the light in the room was clear because the television was on.

“To some degree there was light in the room so she was sure of what she was holding and what she clearly wanted to do. The point that she did not know is a total lie,” he submitted.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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