A murder convict is appealing the death sentence handed down to him for killing his girlfriend and their two kids has to wait until next month to know his fate.
Gabaokelwe, 31,was found guilty of killing his live -in girlfriend, Keneilwe Ndolo, 23 and her two daughters Kaone, 3, and eight months old baby Ogomoditse with a heavy iron rod during an argument over food in Borolong village in 2008.
Justice Tshepo Motswagole of the Francistown High Court convicted and sentenced Gabaokelwe to 15 years imprisonment for the murder of Ndolo after considering extenuating circumstances and gave him two death sentences, one for each child.
On Tuesday Gabaokelwe, represented by his state appointed attorney, Duma Boko sought for both his conviction and sentence to be quashed by the court of appeal in Lobatse.
Fighting hard to save Gabaokelwe’s neck from the hangman’s noose, Boko argued that the sentences of death handed down by the High court were grossly erroneous as they failed to extend the extenuating circumstances in Ndolo’s death to the death of the two children.
“The appellant was not properly advised when trial began as he was told he could only give sworn evidence under oath.” Boko noted
He also wanted the court to take into consideration that Gabaokelwe was only 21 years of age when he committed the offenses and therefore immature and susceptible to youthful exuberances and lack of maturity in judgement and reaction to situations. He also put it to the court’s attention that Gabaokelwe was of rustic background and that he was under the influence of alcohol and dagga when he committed the crimes.”
Meanwhile State Counsel, Matlhogonolo Phuthego argued that the Boko had only raised technicalities but not made any attempt to address the evidence itself. “Should the court come to a conclusion that the technicalities raised are unmeritorious, it should then make a finding that besides technicalities, the appellant had not filed any heads of arguments on the merits of the case,” he said.
In his confession statement Gabaokelwe admitted that he committed the heinous crimes and gave Ndolo’s refusal to cook for him and the fact that that he had seen her with an unknown man on that day as the reason he attacked her.
“When I confronted her, she said I should take my belongings and leave before she went on to toss my belongings at me. I picked up an iron rod and hit her with it on the neck, and in the process injured the baby she was holding. When I realised that I might have maimed her or even killed her I hit the other child with the same iron rod so that she would not be orphaned,” he said in part.
A ruling on Gabaokelwe’s appeal will be handed down on February 10.