Five men accused of the brutal killing of a security guard back in 2013 were all found guilty of murder by Gaborone High Court this week.
The infamous five: Lebang Ntesi, Phemelo Tshelang, Gorata Sebego, Patrick Gaile and Mpho Mangwa, were due for sentencing on Thursday (19 April, the day after going to print).
According to the particulars of the case, on the night of August 28, 2013 at Gaborone North Farms, the five robbed and murdered one Olebogile Ramapulane, who was guarding at Tuwana Construction Site camp.
Ramapulane suffered five fractures to the skull during the attack, injuries that ultimately claimed his life.
Delivering his verdict to a packed High Court, outgoing Chief Justice, Maruping Dibotelo said, “During the night of the 28th, the five men jumped the fence and acted together to attack and injure a security man who was taken to hospital and later died.
“When he was attacked he had been sitting by the fire cooking food. There is no justification of the accused for attacking him and causing his death.
“During the attack the accused fractured the deceased’s skull five times, according to the pathology results,” Dibotelo summarised, adding it was clear the men had set out to steal copper on that fateful night.
The murderous thieves instead fled the scene with P20, 000, a laptop, a cellphone and a pellet gun.
They were later apprehended after Security System officers tracked footprints from the crime scene – a trail that lasted for almost 6km and led to two of the murderers’ homes in Oodi.
Although they were found guilty of murder, the five men will not face the death penalty as Dibotelo ruled there were extenuating circumstances to the case.
“It is common cause that violence was used, which led to a murder, so I rule out the possibility of pre-meditation. They set out to steal copper, it was probable that they would meet resistance and indeed they did and a murder was committed,” stated the Chief Justice.
The five were also initially charged for the attempted murder of Chinese national Liu Jian Hui. Hui was attacked and gravely injured during the robbery.
He was admitted at Princess Marina Hospital’s intensive care unit but later recovered and has since left the country, which is why the charges fell away.