Court of Appeal rejects murderer’s leniency request
A convicted murderer will serve his entire 18-year jail term after the Court of Appeal (COA) dismissed his desperate application for a leaner sentence on Thursday.
Four years ago, before a packed Francistown High Court, 33-year-old Mmoloki Keorapetse pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Kabelo Gabaitse, 37.
Despite being a first-time offender, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the killing, which took place on the night of 4 January 2013.
During the original trial, Keorapetse confessed that he had spent the previous night at home with Gabaitse.
It emerged that the following morning, the two lovebirds moved on to Gabaitse’s place, where Keorapetse gave his girlfriend P600 ‘pocket money’.
Court heard how the couple were ‘chilling’ when Gabaitse asked her boyfriend what he would do if she decided to terminate their relationship.
Surprised and angry, Keorapetse stormed off in a sulky rage. When he returned, his girlfriend confirmed she wanted to split up.
Devastated, he demanded his money back. When she refused, Keorapetse, blinded by anger, attacked her with a ‘sharp’ axe, inflicting a series of devastating blows on her defenceless body.
Gabaitse was rushed to intensive care but, four months later, she succumbed to her wounds.
It was revealed that two skull fragments were found at the crime scene, with the post-mortem recording multiple depressed fractures and contusions of the brain.
A tearful and seemingly repentant Keorapetse had been hoping to have his sentence reduced.
However, despite his remorse, the court of appeal ruled that whilst a term of 18 years may appear on the high side, it ultimately suited the vicious nature of the offence committed.
Having already served four years, Keorapetse will remain locked up until 2031. He will next taste freedom as a 47-year-old.