Man to be hanged for butchering lover
The Francistown High Court was a scene of heart wrenching grief and sorrow on Thursday after Judge Bengbame Sechele handed down a death sentence to a convited murderer.
The devastated family of Wedu Mosalagage (32) who murdered a then 24- year old Barobi Rampape in Letlhakanein 2012 wept bitterly at the end of the court session.
Mosalagae from Mmatshumu village was found guilty of brutally murdering Rampape by slitting her throat with a knife seven years ago in Letlhakane village where she was employed as a nurse at Letlhakane Primary Hospital.
Her decomposed body was found two days after she was slain with blood in the house and her head almost decapitated.
Defence attorney, Gontse Simon tried to convince the court that there were extenuating circumstances in the case, which could reduce the sentence.
His efforts however proved futile as Francistown High Court Judge, Bengbame Sechele ruled that there were no extenuating circumstances.
Simon submitted that the accused was a first offender and he committed the offence out of jealousy and youthful exuberance, as he was aged 25 at the time of committing the horrendous crime.
“It was Simon’s submission that the accused has since incorporated a company that has been engaged by government to execute certain works. He further submitted that the accused could contribute meaningfully to the development of this country if afforded an opportunity to do so.
Lastly Simon stated that the accused has a five -year old child who is wholly dependent on him and has since adopted an orphan in his home village Mmatshumo.”
However Sechele when delivering the sentence noted that the young woman was killed for a simple short txt message she received that said, “I am in Letlhakane and I will be going back tomorrow.”
‘This message did not say much, save to inform the deceased that the sender was in Letlhakane and will be departing the next day. The accused viewed the message differently and picked up a fight with the deceased over it and he inflicted the injuries from which the deceased demised,” said the judge.
He further observed that in his view, at the age of 25 the accused was a mature adult and that he was no longer prone to any youthful enthusiasm.
“I take the view that the accused’s jealousy and youthful exuberance were not sufficiently appreciable to abate the moral blameworthiness of the accused in strangulating and cutting deceased’s throat with the knife.
My findings in this regard will in consequences tie me to the penalty provided for under section 203 of the penal code. I will in the circumstances sentence the accused to death in terms of section 203 (1) of the penal code of laws of Botswana,” Judge Sechele concluded as he sent Mosalagae to the gallows.
Deceased family speaks
The deceased’s 34-year-old brother, Peter Rampape said he was pleased with the sentence meted out to the accused and he will finally find closure. “There was no reason for him to have brutally killed my sister,” he said.
“She was the breadwinner and now life has changed tragically for the whole family. The sentence will also act as a deterrent to would be perpetrators of such barbaric crimes,” the softspoken Rampape noted.
The deceased’s elder sister, Malebogo Molibi Rampape told The Voice that she acted as her late sister’s guardian when she was a schoolgirl. “I was a street vendor, selling sweets to ensure that my siblings do not sleep on an empty stomach.
Barobi grew up to become our breadwinner but unfortunately we lost her at a tender age,” Rampape said.
Another relative, Latelang Pheto said Barobi was brutally killed.
“He had cut the throat and it looked like he had tried to cut off the head and failed. She was killed on a Friday and we only heard of the incident on Sunday. If you were not a relative you could not stand the stinking smell and it was very hot in summer.” said the elderly woman.
“That man really disappointed the Rampape family as we expected a lot from Barobi,” the visibly heartbroken Pheto said.