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You will hang by the neck until you die

Sharon Mathala
TO HANG: Moabi Mabiletsa

Deathrow inmate’s attempt to dodge the noose flops

A condemned prisoner awaiting execution for his 2017 death sentence has once again tried and failed to reverse his fate through the courts.

He will hang until he dies at a date still to be set.

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Moabi Mabiletsa had approached the Court of Appeal (CoA) claiming that he had fresh evidence against the Judge who passed his sentence.

He argued at the CoA that the judge who sentenced him to death was affiliated to his murder victim in that the murederd man’s father who was also a state witness was the driver of the trial judge.

The deathrow inmate was of the view that given the relationship between the two, the Judge should have been disqualified from presiding over the matter as it involved the death of his driver’s son.

The state however called upon the testimony of the Chief Administration officer in the Human resource Department one Mmoloki Gabaitsiwe who held records of staff.

Gabaitsiwe explained that only “on two occasions was Mopipi appointed as the former Chief Justice’s driver on a three month stint between September 3rd 2012 and November 30 2012, and again between 1st December 2012 and February 2013 .
Dismissing the deathrow inmate’s second appeal the CoA noted that “The allegations made about the close work relationship between the trial judge and the deceased father was fully controverted through a detailed answering affidavit…Mopipi (deceased father) was not designated to drive the Chief Justice at the material time. The basis upon which the applicant (Mabiletsa) asks for the trial judge’s recusal has crumbled.”

“The trial judge in this case had taken judicial oath to administer justice without fear of favour and there was no way he would lack impartiality on account of the fact that it was the son of an employee of the administration of justice whose life had been lost. There was also no evidence in the founding affidavit to suggest that the judicial conscience of the judge had been disturbed,” further reads the judgment.

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