Crime and punishment

Christinah Motlhabane
Murder convict escapes the gallows, gets 16 years in jail.

Tired of being bullied, Kabo Basimane killed his co-worker Thokomelo Galefosi five years ago by stabbing him with a knife.

Basimane then concealed the dead body in an aardvark hole at Motaka cattle post on the outskirts of Serowe village to conceal the murder.

This week the Francistown High Court sentenced Basimane to 16 years in prison for the murder of Galefosi.

According to evidence given in court, on June 06th November 2015 at Motaka, cattlepost, Galefosi sent Basimane on a dagga and alcohol-buying errand.

Just when the two herdsmen started drinking, Galefosi instructed Basimane stop drinking and sure the livestock is in their kraals but Basimane argued that it was not his turn to do so and refused.

The court heard that Galefosi then responded by hurling insults to Basimane, which led to a fight that ended fatally after Basimane had stabbed Galefosi with a knife and killed him.

Galefosi had allegedly slapped Basimane and hit him with a log on the head before Basimane decided to bring a knife to the fight.

Instead of going to the hospital for his stab wound to be treated, Galefosi retired to bed only for Basimane to find lying dead in the kraal in the morning. In a state of the panic Basimane decided to bury the body in a hole to conceal the murder.

Basimane also told the court that he had worked with the Galefosi for five months, two of which were okay but then Galefosi started abusing and bullying him after that.
Some of the bullying incidents Basimane said Galefosi subjected him to included insults, forcing him to drink urine and attempted poisoning.

Before sentencing Basimane, Justice Matlhogonolo Phuthego stated that it was clear that Galefosi is the one who had provoked the accused.
“It is only that the accused overreacted and stabbed the deceased. He did suffer provocation from the accused. The murder was not premeditated and it shows the accused lived under abuse for three months,” said Judge Phuthego.

The judge also stated that absenteeism of premeditation and evidence of provocation meant he could not be sentenced to death.
Justice Phuthego however indicated that the accused was not a first offender.

“On the 14th of February 2012 he was convicted of common nuisance and was given 5 strokes and also on the 20th of August 2012 he was charged with common assault and was given 5 strokes also.

“And he committed the matter before court 3 years after being convicted of common assault. It shows he never learns from his mistakes,” continued Justice Phuthego before he delivered a sentence of 16 years in prison backdating the time he spent in prison for the accused to go and think about his life long and hard.

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