On Wednesday, for the second time this year, 41-year-old Michael Ndaba appeared before Francistown High Court accused of murder.
And, just like the first time, the father-of-four walked away a free man having been acquitted of the charge.
Ndaba was standing trial for the murder of Morena Jonas, who was stabbed to death back in August 2013 at Japani farms near Borolong.
Jonas had been dating Ndaba’s girlfriend’s sister, Chandapiwa Gile, who Ndaba was also accused of attempting to kill.
The unemployed Tatisiding native faced a further charge of assaulting a neighbour on that same night.
However, presiding over the case, Judge Zibani Makhwade cleared Ndaba of all charges, ruling that the state had not provided enough evidence to prove his guilt.
During the trial, the accused had admitted stabbing the deceased but claimed he did so in self-defence.
Narrating his version of events on that fateful night almost five years ago, Ndaba said he received a phone call from his girlfriend, Malebogo Gile informing him their baby did not have milk.
Ndaba claimed he then went to Malebogo’s house to help but she was not home. When he tried to find out where she was by asking her children, he inadvertently woke up a furious Jonas who had been sleeping in one of the rooms.
“He came to me hitting me with a knobkerrie and I acted in self-defence by stabbing him with a knife,” Ndaba testified.
Dismissing the case, Makhwade ruled, “It is not open for the court to speculate, when the evidence is missing. They (prosecution) did not state whether the deceased was stabbed in the house or outside. Therefore the accused is acquitted and discharged in all three counts he was facing.”
On hearing the verdict, Ndaba went down on his knees and said a silent prayer of thanks before leaving court with tears of joy streaking down his cheeks.
In a quick interview with The Voice outside court, the relieved man said, “I was freed in January and I am acquitted again for the second time in a different matter, I only thank God as he is the one who brought me on this earth.”
Earlier this year, Ndaba had been awaiting trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Bathebi Machola, who was stabbed to death on the 5th of January 2017 in Ditladi village.
However, he walked free after the prosecution dropped the charges against him.