Francistown High Court Judge, Lot Moroka on Wednesday slammed a 31 year old man, Kenalemang Rakgomo with a 10 year sentence for murder after he entered a plea of guilt.
According to court documents, Rakgomo killed Tsholofelo Kemolathe who was in a relationship with him in 2010. During the course of the relationship, Rakgomo and Kemolatlhe had a misunderstanding owing to Rakgomo’s suspicion that the deceased was in another relationship with a boy called Nombi. Rakgomo is said to have seen Kemolathe with Nombi naked in a passage which suggested that they had been having sexual intercourse.
When the two saw the accused they ran in different directions. However, Rakgomo caught up with Kemolathe and took her to Serale pond where he assaulted her before stabbing her with a knife on the neck.
In the sentence which was back dated from the 1st August 2016 when he was remanded in custody, Kenalemang will serve nine years for the murder of his lover.
When sentencing him, Moroka found that there were extenuating circumstances in this case and therefore had to exclude capital punishment from the list of available sentencing options. Moroka said that he was also aware of the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence adding that Rakgomo was a first offender.
“The accused was aged 24 years at the time of the commission of the offence, he has a child to care for,” Moroka said. However, he said that the offence cannot escape the inevitable observation that murder visits the highest form of loss to society. He said that the offence carries a higher degree of both harmfulness and culpability than most offences in the penal statue books.
“If we look at the level of culpability of the accused person in this case, it is slightly diminished by his sudden anger and jealousy occasioned by seeing his girlfriend naked in the presence of a man she had earlier denied to be in love with,” Moroka said, adding that the absence of pre-meditation also doubles up as mitigating factor over the above role in extenuation.
He said that the fact that Rakgomo pleaded guilty counts for remorse and shows that a genuine expression of self-motivated determination to change his ways after a once fall from grace ought to be spared a harsh sentence on account of being a threat to society.