Drink and death

Cathrine Moemedi
GUILTY: Granny Mohaladi

“Granny” kills pensioner at the shebeen

A young man is looking at a lengthy stretch behind bars after Maun High Court found him guilty of killing an old-aged pensioner, who was ‘like a father to him’.

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Although he insists he was not the aggressor, 30-year-old Granny Mohaladi was convicted of murdering Kenanogile Bathari, 70, during a fall-out at a local shebeen back on 25 November 2017.

It was heard that on the fateful day, Bathari was already at the drinking hole, in Sedie ward, when Mohaladi, his dog and another man turned up.

The first sign of trouble started when the old man struck Mohaladi’s pet with a knobkerrie for barking at him.

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Later, the elder turned the knobkerrie on Mohaladi, after he caught the younger man taking a sip from his drink despite being warned not to, hitting him with such force the wooden club split in two.

Mohaladi reacted by grabbing a piece of the knobkerrie and beating the grandfather on the head and back.

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“The postmortem confirmed that the deceased died from spinal cord injuries caused by the beating he received from the accused person,” noted Judge, Godfrey Nthomiwa in his ruling.

The Judge also declared Mohaladi the aggressor, as he was seen taking the deceased’s traditional beer even though he was clearly told not to.

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“He splashed the old man with beer when he reprimanded him and in retaliation he [Bathari] struck him with a knobkerrie. The assault left him motionless and he was rushed to Maun General Hospital where he was treated and discharged the same day,” continued Nthomiwa.

The nurse who examined Bathari observed that while his body temperature was normal, his blood pressure was low.

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“The nurse noted that the victim was brought on a wheelchair, with pains on the neck and the head. His face was swollen and was also soaked in blood,” said the Judge.

Kept under observation for two hours, showing signs of improvement, the pensioner was released and allowed to go home.

Sadly, things took a tragic turn the next day.

Bathari’s condition deteriorated rapidly; he was rushed to Letsholathebe Memorial Hospital but passed away a few hours after being admitted. The post-mortem would show that he died because of a fracture to the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae.

In his evidence in chief, Mohaladi testified that he was well acquainted with the deceased, who, as one of the elders in his community, practically raised him.

He further told the court he does not know why the old man hit him for trying to drink from his cup as they usually share.

“I hit the old man in self-defence as he had already waged war against me.”

However, in his guilty verdict, Judge Nthomiwe ruled the accused’s excessive actions were to blame for what happened.

“The pathologist noted that the old man was already fragile and of ill health therefore you cannot say you were defending yourself against him. You cannot say you were defending your property because the level of retaliation is not proportional. You provoked him by splashing him with beer, that’s why he hit you!” ruled Nthomiwa.

Mohaladi, who was out on bail, is now remanded pending mitigation and sentencing, scheduled for 7 November.

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