High Court dismisses death-row inmate’s plea

Wananani Modongo - NE correspondent
Monday, 20 March 2017
High Court dismisses death-row inmate’s plea

Francistown High Court Judge, Bashi Moesi has dismissed Uyapo Poloko, a death-row inmate’s quest that his conviction be set aside and he be liberated. Poloko had sought to be acquitted and granted his liberty. Moesi said the accused was convicted of murder, attempted murder and robbery by Justice Modiri Letsididi He said that Poloko received death penalty for murder and was sentenced to 12 years and 10 for attempted murder and robbery respectively.

“The law is that once the court has handed conviction, it becomes functus officio. Its duty has been done, it lacks competence to revisit the matter,” Moesi said as he dismissed Poloko’s application.Poloko was convicted for the murder of Vijeyadeyi Kandavaranam on January 2010 at Ntshe location in Francistown and attempting to kill her husband, Balasingnam Kandavaranam. He also stole two Nokia cellphones and P3500 during the offence. He was working for the Kandavaranams who were also senior citizens from India who were selling their belongings at the time in preparation of relocating to their native land.

The judge found that Poloko was sold a car for P3500 by Kandavaranams but that out of greed he came back to attack the couple with the intention to claim back the money that he had earlier paid. That was when he found Balasingnam in the garage and strangled him. The man lost consciousness and Poloko thought that he was dead and went into the house where he subsequently strangled Balasingman’s wife to death. He then made away with the cash and the two cellphones belonging to the couple.
In his Judgement, Letsididi said that the accused used violence when he committed the offence. “He was neither drunk nor provoked when he committed the offences. He was also not acting in self-defence. The aggravating factors in these matters also heavily weigh against the accused. He was motivated by greed and cruelty to commit the crimes,” Letsididi said.

He also said that the crimes were committed in a brutal and ruthless manner because he strangled the deceased. He said that strangulation by nature causes slow and painful death. Letsididi also added: “In all circumstances I am unable to find any extenuating circumstances in the conviction of murder.”

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