Murder convict, Thabo Masilo, this morning (Monday) gave sworn evidence in mitigation and told court that he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when he killed his victim, Tshepang Motlhabane.

He told the packed court room that prior to meeting Motlhabane he had met up with his friends at Phase 4 and proceeded to Game City area, just in front of their school where they bought marijuana worth P50.

“I don’t know the names of the people who sold us the marijuana because what we were doing was illegal and so they did not tell us their names,” Masilo said and continued, “We then proceeded to buying two crates of Black-Label quartz by the liqourama and went to hide at a nearby bush.”

Masilo who was last year found guilty of brutally killing Motlhabane, a Form 5 St. Josephs student, was in court to plead for lenience and prove his case of extenuating circumstances.

“I gulped the quartz in about 2 hours 30 minutes. I had only two of the three rolls of marijuana and I left my friends to go visit my girlfriend. I smoked the last one on the way,” Masilo explained in court.

Turning to the deceased’s family giving his last word to them, Masilo pleaded for forgiveness.

To the grief-stricken family Masilo said “I cannot undo what I have done. I am always praying for your forgiveness, I am full of regret and I always tell my inmates that when I get out I know I will have two families (this including the deceased family). God says we should forgive one another I hope you forgive me.”

Masilo further said if given a second chance he will never kill again.

Still in court Masilo’s mother, Victoria Masilo, also gave testimony to plead the court’s lenience for her already convicted son.

Masilo’s mother told the court of the hardships her son had when growing up and how he did not have a father figure in his life.

Masilo’s mother said that while growing up he had speech and hearing problems which often led to bullying by his peers.

She further told the court that because of his psycho social development Masilo did not do well at school but he was able to get sponsorship to tertiary school through the help of the special needs department.

“He was a very sweet and humble boy. I suspect he was on drugs and at one point I tried to counsel him with my sisters. I had applied for his transfer because I felt I needed to be next to him here in Gaborone, but before we could settle in I was called by the Gaborone West Police to inform me that he had been arrested for this very crime,” Masilo’s mother said.

The case will continue April for final submission where a date of sentencing is expected to be set.

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