A 42-year-old secondary school teacher will spend the next 47 years of his life behind bars after he was found guilty of double murder and arson.
Despite proclaiming his innocence, Gaone Julius Molwalefe, a teacher at Mookami Junior Secondary School, was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of arson at Gaborone High Court last Thursday.
Molwalefe was ruled responsible for the grisly murders of sisters Evelyn Matlapeng and Grace Matlapeng.
The two women burnt to death in their sleep, after Molwalefe deliberately set fire to their residence in Moshupa’s Sedudu ward on the evening of September 28, 2012.
Court heard how, after having a misunderstanding with his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, Kealeboga Siwane, Molwalefe went berserk and torched her family home.
Siwane’s sisters both perished in the fiery blaze, believed to have been started with petrol and which caused P13, 900 worth of damage.
Representing the accused, Kole Kole of Kole Attorneys pleaded with Judge Lakvinder Singh Walia to be lenient in his sentencing, pointing out that his client is a father of two minors.
However the Judge was unimpressed with Kole’s argument, nothing that both children were being cared for by their mothers. He also noted that Molwalefe had shown no signs of remorse.
Delivering his verdict, Judge Walia said the prosecution called ten witnesses who managed to prove Molwalefe’s guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.
“I therefore find the accused guilty and sentence him to 20 years for the murder of Evelyn Matlapeng, 20 years for Grace Matlapeng which resulted from the fire he caused and 7 years for arson,” he ruled.
In the immediate aftermath of the judgement, Kole told The Voice he was awaiting his client’s instructions as to whether or not they appeal against the decision.
Kole added that he will consider the official record of proceedings and mirror it against the judgement and sentencing.