R v Morake (CRI/T/77/2000 )

Case No: 
CRI/T/77/2000
Media Neutral Citation: 
[2004] LSHC 19
Judgment Date: 
4 February, 2004

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CRI/T/77/2000

IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO


In the matters between:-

REX

vs

NYOKOLE MORAKE


JUDGMENT


CORAM : HON. MR JUSTICE S.N. PEETE

DATE : 4th FEBRAURY 2004


The accused, a male mosotho adult aged sixty eight (68) years, appears before this court facing a charge of murder it being alleged that on the 28 December 1996 he unlawfully and intentionally killed one Letlafuoa Tota.


The accused pleaded guilty to culpable homicide and this plea was accepted by the crown.


2


In narrating the facts, the Crown Attorney Mrs Maqutu-Moorosi informed the Court that on the 28th December 1996 there was a traditional feast at the home of one Joshuoa Mochesane. In the late afternoon, trouble erupted between the accused and the deceased - his nephew-over a paltry debt of M2.00. Despite intervention by other villagers, the accused is alleged to have stabbed the deceased with a metal rod - "kepi".


The deceased was then transported to Motebang Hospital where he died five days later. According to the post-mortem report the cause of death was due to "injury to the left lung and heart".


It was also noted that the accused had surrendered himself to the police and made an explanation on the 6th Janaury.


The court accordingly returned a verdict of "guilty to culpable homicide" in terms of section 240 of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act of 1981.


The Crown then informed the court that the accused had no previous convictions.

In mitigation Ms Mahase then submitted that the accused was a first offender and beyond the prime of his life and that he had shown remorse by surrendering himself to the police and reconciling with the family of the deceased - in fact he has pledged his one and only field for their use. She further informed the court that the accused is nursing his terminally ill wife.


Sentence: Imprisonment not appropriate in this case.


3


Accused is sentenced to:-


Four years imprisonment wholly suspended for three years on condition that the accused is not convicted during that period for an offence involving violence to person for which he is sentenced to term of imprisonment of six months or above without an option of a fine.


S.N. PEETE

JUDGE


For Crown : Mrs Maqutu-Moorosi

For Accused : Ms Mahase