Man stabbed/stoned to death while dancing at a party
Five years after they cut a man down in a drunken brawl, two youth will spend the next decade of their lives behind bars to repent for their sins.
Having been convicted of murder, this Tuesday Francistown High Court handed out ten-year prison sentences to both Abel Thapelo, 26, and Olebile Molosiwa, 27.
Thapelo was found guilty of stabbing one Kelathilwe Molefhe in the neck, while his accomplice, Molosiwa brought the stricken man down with a stone as he desperately tried to escape.
The killing occurred on the night of 22 April 2016 at Pakame lands near Lerala village in the Central District.
The trouble started earlier in the day when Molefhe, for reasons only he knows, went round to Thapelo’s place and, finding it empty, vandalized his shack and destroyed the door.
When Thapelo, who was aged just 21 at the time, and his co-accused, then 22, arrived to find the house in ruins, they were seen brandishing a knife and vowing to kill the culprit.
By that time Molefhe was already in the bar drinking. When he was told there were men looking for him with murder on their minds, he reportedly responded, “If it’s my time to die, let it be!”
He then left the bar to attend a party at the lands, where he drank traditional beer, setopoti and danced.
It proved to be his last dance.
As Molefhe boogied away, Thapelo and Molosiwa arrived and headed straight for him.
Without uttering a word, Thapelo tapped Molefhe on the shoulder, stabbing him as soon as he turned round.
Molosiwa then felled the stricken man with a stone as he attempted to flee.
Although he was rushed to the clinic, it was already too late and Molefhe passed on from his wounds.
In their testimonies, the accused told court they were provoked and had acted in self-defence, claiming Molefhe was armed with a panga.
Begging for a lenient sentence, it was pointed out both men were young when they committed the murder and were under the influence of alcohol.
It was also revealed Thapelo is a father to three children while Molosiwa has one child.
Taking all these factors into consideration, Justice Phadi Solomon handed out a punishment ‘to balance the interests of society, state and the accused’.