Outrage At 'Lenient' 20-Year Jail Term For Wife Killer

Youngman Dube killed his wife 10 years ago
Youngman Dube killed his wife 10 years ago

FRANCISTOWN: The family of Hanifa Dube, who was killed by her husband, Youngman Dube, in 2009, has reacted angrily to the "lenient" 20-year jail sentence imposed on the man convicted of her murder.

Speaking outside court on Friday after Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe had imposed the sentence, Hanifa’s sister, Trene Esop, said her family still could not believe Youngman was given a 20-year-sentence saying that the term was lenient as “it did not take into consideration that a life has been lost and can never be replaced”.

A sobbing Esop went on: “As a family we are not happy about the sentence and strongly believe that justice was not served in this case. Our sister is dead and we will never see her again. She was the breadwinner of the family. Our sister’s killer should have been hanged. The 20-year-sentence is not enough. Her killer brutally killed her leaving us to fend for her two young children she left behind”.

Esop added: “We believe that our sister was innocent and did not deserve to be killed in such a cruel manner. A person she was taking care of killed her for no valid reason. Hanifa’s killer should have been hanged”. The deceased’s other sister Shriffa Kikia who was teary-eyed said: “This trial was a deeply distressing and painful ordeal for our family since it took 10 years to be finalised. Our sister was brutally killed by that monster. She was innocent and did not do anything that warranted her to be killed. Our pain has been exacerbated by the lenient sentence imposed today”.


Outside court after the judge pronounced Youngman’s fate, scores of Hanifa’s relatives and her young children sat on the benches and wept silently. The mood outside court was sombre.

Youngman killed Hanifa with an axe at their family home in Matshelagabedi and then simulated that she died from a car accident along the Francistown-Matsiloje road. In his sentence, Ketlogetswe said that Youngman and Hanifa counter-accused each other of infidelity.

“At the time of her death, the accused and deceased were sleeping in separate bedrooms in their home. They were estranged from each other. It is therefore not unreasonable to say that the accused was possibly living a stressed life because of what was happening between him and his wife,” the judge said.

In mitigation, the accused’s attorney, Ketlogetswe said, pleaded with the court to take these factors into consideration.

“The attorney also said that the accused waited for 10-years for this matter to be finalised. The delay was caused by the accused’s change of attorneys. From 2011 to date, the accused was represented by no less than three attorneys. It is, however, clear that it was not his fault nor the prosecution’s and the court’s. His previous attorneys pulled out of representing him. The court will take that into consideration when sentencing him,” Ketlogetswe said.

Ketlogetswe added: “The accused’s attorney also said that the accused has since owned up to killing his wife, which he said was remorse on his part… On the flipside, the accused has committed a very serious offence, which society views very gravelly… The accused’s actions are aggravated by the fact that he killed a person who could have been taking care of him. He is not a first offender although his previous offences were not occasioned on people”.

Murder cases, Ketlogetswe noted, have inundated the courts around the country where in many instances they are caused by men who inflict violence on women leading to loss of lives.

“Murder cases are also on the increase. The accused’s attorney has pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy so as to give the accused time to reconstruct his life and become a useful member of society… The death of the deceased can never be reversed. It is the duty of the courts to prevent loss of lives… The accused is therefore sentenced to 20-years in jail. The sentence shall be recognisable from January 25, 2019. Any period that the accused spent in custody before this matter was finalised should be deducted from his sentence,” Ketlogetswe said.

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