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  1. #11
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Jun 2015

    Botswana hangs death row inmate

    APA News

    Botswana continued executions this year, with the hanging of another death row inmate in 2018. State media reported that Uyapo Poloko was hanged on Friday.Poloko was convicted of killing Indian businessman Vijeyadeyi Kandavaranam on January 25, 2010 in Francistown in northern Botswana.

    Justice Modiri Letsididi sentenced Poloko to death for the murder, as well as 12 years in jail for attempted murder charge and 10 years for robbery.

    Letsididi, in passing sentence, said there were several aggravating factors in the case.

    “The crimes were committed in a brutal and ruthless manner because he strangled the deceased. Strangulation by nature leads to a slow and painful death.

    “In all the circumstances, I am unable to find any extenuating circumstances in the conviction for the offences that could reduce the accused’s blameworthiness,” declared the judge.

    Poloko failed in his bid to overturn his death sentence this year after another judge, Justice Bashi Moesi, dismissed the convict’s application.

    In February this year, Botswana hanged Joseph Tselayarona, after a court in 2017 sentenced him to 20 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend and handed him the death penalty for the murder of the son.


    More on the crime

    Death row inmate bags hollow victories

    Global Post

    A death row inmate condemned to the gallows won a minor but inconsequential battle on Friday in a larger struggle to upstage a sentence of death meted to him by the High Court.

    Uyapo Poloko, a Francistowner languishing on death row managed to sway the Court of Appeal (CoA) to shave off one conviction from his array of cumbersome sentences.

    Poloko was convicted of the murder of a South Asian woman and sentenced to death. He was also convicted on charges of attempted murder and robbery wherein he received sentences of 12 and 10 years imprisonment respectively.

    He was sentenced to death for the murder of Vijeyadevi Kandavanam committed on January 2010 in Francistown.

    Poloko had strangled her to death. He had moments earlier strangled her husband Balasingham Kandavanam who quickly lapsed into unconsciousness. After the ghastly acts, he proceeded to ransack their house.

    In the trial at a lower court the husband, Balasingham who knew Poloko from the building industry had testified that Poloko had come to his house to negotiate the sale of his second hand car on behalf of one Christopher Mazenyane.

    After some negotiations, the price was agreed at P8, 000 which was paid at the Kandavanams residence on Saturday the 22nd January 2010.

    Poloko would then rock up unannounced at the Kandavanams the following Monday at 06:00 am.

    After exchanging pleasantries over tea, Poloko suggested that he view Kandavanam’s building materials where he allegedly knew were stored in the formers garage.

    He also allegedly knew that the family was leaving the country for good.

    Evidence led by Kandavanam in court states that after washing his hands and wiping them while still in the process of viewing the building materials, Poloko immediately tied a rope around his neck and also took his cellphone in the process.

    Kandavanam is quoted in court papers as stating, “I don’t know what happened next. The incident happened around 08:00 a.m. After hours I heard some noise and the rope was around my neck and blood on my chest. ”

    Balasingham’s wife, Vijayedevi had not been so lucky. She had been strangled to death in the passageway, with a rope wrapped fourfold around her neck.

    Among other reasons, Poloko’s appeal to the CoA was premised on the reason that he had raised an alibi that the trial court failed to properly consider.

    Addressing Poloko’s alibi, Gaongalelwe stated that the issue of an existing alibi was raised belatedly, some four and a half years after the commission of the offence.

    This was in spite Poloko having been arrested the very same day the murder took place.

    He further argued that the defence missed a point of great importance that an alibi is to be raised at the earliest opportunity that avails itself.

    “It must always be borne in mind that such a requirement is not an empty rule of rhetoric but one which serves a purpose,” he noted.

    Gaongalelwe further clarified that the purpose and logic behind the rule is to establish the police to investigate its veracity or falsity when events are still in the minds of those concerned.

    The CoA upheld the murder and robbery conviction while it determined that Poloko’s conviction for the offence of attempted murder is successful.

    Justice Gaongalelwe also found that in a wide search to identify possible extenuating circumstances such as intoxication, provocation or immaturity, there was nothing in the case to suggest any.

    He instead argued that the necessary inference was that Poloko had come to rob, knowing that Kanvadam had received the P8, 000 from the car sale.

    “He equipped himself with the length of rope…He was prepared to use violence to achieve his purpose. All the evidence suggests that appellant was determined to execute robbery at whatever cost,” Gaongalelwe concluded in the judgement.


  2. #12
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Jun 2015

    The year death row got packed

    By Mbongeni Mguni and Pini Bothoko
    Mmegi Online

    In a new record, seven people were sentenced to death in 2017, joining others already on death row going through processes that almost inevitably conclude at the end of a rope.

    By precedent, the road between the death penalty and execution is dark in Botswana. Few death penalty convicts have had their sentences overturned at the Court of Appeal (CoA) and even fewer have had their convictions set aside.

    The road is also straight. Once a High Court Judge rules that he cannot find extenuating circumstances in a murder conviction, the sentence of death is almost always handed down.

    Between conviction and execution, convicts can appeal to the President to pardon them, but historically, the country’s four Presidents have not extended this mercy to anyone.

    Uyapo Poloko (37) and his lawyers will be thinking of this long and dark road after the Francistown High Court in March rejected his application for discharge in the murder of an Asian woman, Vijeyadeyi Kandavaranam. In January 2010 at Ntshe location in Francistown, Poloko killed the woman and attempted to kill her husband, while robbing them of two Nokia cellphones and P3,500. Judge Modiri Letsididi imposed capital punishment.

    In a bid to save his life, Poloko, a former graduate of Ccounselling from Tonota College of Education, had made an application he referred to as ‘an application for redress that seeks the court to discharge his conviction and sentence’ before Justice Bashi Moesi while awaiting his appeal at the (CoA). Moesi dismissed Poloko’s application saying that once the court handed down the conviction and sentence, its duty had been done and the court lacked the competency to hear the matter. On top of the death sentence, Poloko was sentenced to 12 years for attempted murder and 10 years for robbery.

    Another cooling his heels on death row is Joseph Tselayarona. In mid November, the CoA confirmed a decision of the High Court that the double murder must be hanged by the neck to death. The Gaborone High Court had convicted Tselayarona of Molepolole of the murder of his lover, Ngwanyanaotsile Keikanne and her three-year-old son, Miguel Keikanne back in 2010.

    At the time, it was reported that he murdered his girlfriend in cold blood by stabbing her with a trimmer and a screwdriver in front of her son, while she begged for mercy. He then killed her son in the morning by suffocating him with a pillow.

    In December, two more names were added on the hangman’s appointment book.

    Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo sentenced Matshidiso Boikanyo and Moabi Mabiletsa to the gallows for masterminding the killing of Vincent Mopipi who was a Deluxe cab driver back in 2013. In court, it was revealed that the two stabbed Mopipi 44 times in Block 9, where they had asked him to take them to.

    Passing sentence, Justice Dibotelo said the two were cruel as the wounds on the deceased looked like the stabbing of a goat or an ox.

    In mid December yet again, Lobatse High Court Judge, Abednego Tafa sentenced Tshiamo Kgalalelo and Mmika Mpe to death. The Gantsi farm workers had been convicted earlier this year for brutally murdering their employer Reinette Vorster.

    On Monday, as if the death row was not packed enough, Francistown High Court Judge Moesi sentenced Mooketsi Kgosibodiba to death for the murder of Benjamin Makobela back in 2012 at Makobo village.

    Kgosibodiba had stolen a bag of cement and a water container belonging to his employer (Makobela) then killed him to cover up the crime. Makobela’s decomposed body was discovered inside a hut that the duo used to share. Passing the sentence, Moesi said he was satisfied that Kgosibodiba was the person who murdered the deceased and that he caused his death with malice afterthought.

    Death row should expect even more names to be added, if the violent crimes certain suspects are facing, end in convictions. One of these involves Daniel Phadisa, a 32 year old charged with murdering Bembe Magosi and Gomolemo Motladile at Phiring location in Broadhurst Gaborone on Independence Day.

    Kgotlaetsile Leonard Gaonakala (24) and his girlfriend Tsholofelo Kgogo (25) will also face mountains to climb in avoiding the hangman, after they were charged earlier this year with killing and robbing Moemedi Ranthoka, a Deluxe cab driver. Local attorney, Martin Dingake says the high number of capital sentences this year is as a result of a confluence of factors. Among his many cases, Dingake represented a high profile client, Patrick Gabaakanye, who was executed last year for murder. Part of the reasons are that the indictment process is rather slow and trials take long to conclude, leading to this year’s congregation of death sentence cases.

    “There has (also) been an upsurge of murder cases involving more than two accused per case in the recent past, some committed in the heat of passion and others simply to gain an economic value or benefit,” he says.

    “And let’s be frank, they have been committed in the most gruesome manner. “In that event, the little and sometimes few extenuating circumstances are far outweighed by the aggravating circumstances. “I think in two or three cases involving more than two accused persons, this has been the case.”

    Dingake believes extenuating circumstances are being looked at differently. “I think there has been very little consideration by the judiciary to consider other extenuating circumstances like in the Gantsi matter where a case was sought to be made as to the working conditions of the accused persons which in their case amounted to slavery and racism. “In this regard, I am interested in the decision of the Court of Appeal on this point,” he says.

    The attorney says there are reasons why death row convicts never win in their appeals for clemency. Dingake and his client, Gabaakanye, fought unsuccessfully for a presidential pardon last year. “In the history of the Republic, no president, past or present, has ever pardoned a death row inmate,” he says. “Although this has not been publicly said, it seems this is largely based on the concept of separation of powers and the rule of law. That is to say, the courts, as institutions best placed to determine the culpability of an accused person, should not and cannot be second guessed by the Executive. “This is a highly persuasive and attractive argument. But given the many frequent pardons extended to other convicts, it seems, with respect, to be a convenient and self-serving argument.” The seven added to death row this year will certainly try their best to fight the rope. But barring a Court of Appeal reversal, the journey to the end is straight, dark and short.


    Apparently in 2017 Botswana witnessed a large crime wave that they hadn't seen in decades. It appears that the country's death row which has usually been in the single digits will have multiple executions in the following years due to the surge and the government trying to show the public they are trying to fight crime. Botswana is the only African country that executes criminal death row inmates on a regular basis.
    Last edited by Mike; 05-25-2018 at 12:25 PM.

  3. #13
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    December 2, 2019

    Botswana Government Executes Mooketsi Kgosibodiba for Murdering His Employer

    Botswana Government has announced that it has executed Mooketsi Kgosibodiba for murdering his employer. In a press statement, the government indicated that the prisoner had been convicted of the murder and handed a death sentence.

    The execution was carried out on 2 December 2019. Here is a full statement from the government

    “The Botswana Prison Service wishes to inform the public that the execution of the death penalty passed on Mr. Mooketsi Kgosibodiba, 44 years of Shashe-Semotswane Village was carried out today, Monday 2nd December 2019 at Gaborone Central Prison in the early morning hours.

    This follows a death sentence which was imposed on him by the Francistown High Court on the 14th December 2017 for the offence of murder.

    The High Court convicted Kgosibodiba for the murder of his employer Mr Benjamin Makobela on 2nd February 2012 at Makobo village.

    He later appealed the judgement but was dismissed on the 27th July 2018 by the Court of Appeal”


    More info on crime

    December 21, 2017

    Death sentence for murder over stolen cement

    Mmegi Online

    High Court judge, Bashi Moesi sentenced Mooketsi Kgosibodiba, also known as Batista, to death after failing to find extenuating factors in the February 2, 2012 murder of Benjamin Makobela. Morris Ndawana, the accused’s attorney told Mmegi immediately after the verdict, that he was already working on appeals against both the conviction and the sentence.

    When sentencing Kgosibodiba on Monday, Moesi noted that the convict’s arguments and defence did not ring true. Facts led in court and accepted as true are that Makobela’s decomposing body was discovered inside a hut at Shangano ward in Makobo, which he shared with Kgosibodiba.

    The pathologist who examined the body observed that there were injuries as well as medium sized maggots on the body after it was brought to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital for postmortem, said Moesi. The death was proven to have been caused by strangulation, with indications that the act was done to cause death or grievous bodily harm. “The pathologist formed the opinion that the death occurred about three to four days prior to his examination of the body,” said Moesi.

    Kgosibodiba, meanwhile, was telling witnesses who saw him in possession of Makobela’s van that the deceased had gone to buy some cement and petrol in Francistown. Moesi said he found as fact that… the version of the accused that he dropped the deceased off alive at the hiking spot on February 3, 2012 at 5am is not merely improbable but also conflicts with the facts which are not in dispute.

    According to Moesi’s sentence, the relationship between the two men began deteriorating after Kgosibodiba stole the deceased’s cement and a water container that the deceased had borrowed from someone else.

    “On February 1, 2012 a meeting took place at the Makobo home (that the two men shared). At the said meeting, the deceased levelled accusations of theft against the accused. One Modisaotsile Moruti was present and tried to mediate.

    The accused denied the theft which later led to a strained relationship between the two,” the judge said.

    Moesi added: “I also find as a fact that there was strong self-preservation that the motive on the part of the accused which drove him to kill the deceased because of the latter’s refusal to pardon him for the theft of his property and
    his escalation of the investigation caused the accused to see the deceased as a threat that needed to be neutralised”.

    Consequently, Moesi said, taking the cumulative effect of the above facts, he was satisfied that the accused is the person who murdered the deceased on February 1 and in 2012 which is consistent with all the above, proved facts.

    “I accordingly draw inference that no other reasonable inference being capable of being drawn from such facts save the one I have drawn. I am further satisfied that the accused caused the death of the deceased with malice afterthought. I convict him of murder and find no extenuating circumstances in his favour,” said Moesi.

    Last edited by Mike; 12-09-2019 at 02:01 PM.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    February 22, 2020

    Execution of Convict Mmika Michael Mpe

    The Parrot Online

    The Botswana Prisons Service wishes to inform the public that it confirmed the death penalty meted to Mmika Michael Mpe 29 of Tlhwareng ward of Werda Village in the Kgalagadi District this morning, for murder of his employer Reinette Johanna Vorster of Gantsi.

    Mpe was convicted by the High Court of Botswana on 18th May 2018 for abduction, robbery with violence, theft of a motor vehicle, malicious damage to property and murder of Reinette Johanna Vorster on 30 January 2014 at Okwa Valley farms in Gantsi.

    He was sentenced to 1year , 10years , 3 years and death penalty respectively.

    His appeal against conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 8th February 2019.

    We all live in a clown world.

  5. #15
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    February 11, 2020

    Important Background of 3 of the 4 executions held in the past month.

    Four Convicted Murderers To Hang

    The Monitor

    As the year has just begun, the Court of Appeal (CoA) already confirmed the death sentences of four men convicted of killing a cab driver in Gaborone and a Gantsi farm owner respectively.

    The killers, Matshidiso Tshidi Boikanyo and Moabi Seabelo Mabiletsa were convicted in 2017 for the brutal murder of cab driver, Vincent Mopipi, stabbing him 44 times with a knife. Tshiamo Kgalalelo and Mmika Mpe, the former Gantsi farm workers, were also convicted in 2017 for brutally killing and burning their employer, Reinette Vorster.

    For the cab killers, the CoA bench dismissed their appeal citing that the High Court’s finding of no extenuating circumstances was accurate. Handing down judgement on Friday, Justice Zibane Makhwade said the circumstances of court of quo came to the correct conclusion when finding that there were no extenuating circumstances and sentenced both the accused persons to death.

    He explained that the prosecution submitted correctly aggravating factors of which included the fact that the murder was not committed at the spur of the moment but was premeditated.“

    This was clearly a planned murder. It is immaterial whether one or both accused persons physically inflicted the injuries that caused the death of the deceased (Mopipi). What is clear, however, is that they were jointly involved in the execution of the murder. The first appellant called the cab and the second appellant was in possession of a weapon that was used to kill the deceased. This was clearly a joint enterprise,” Makhwede said.

    Makhwade said there is no requirement in law that persons should have known each other for them to form a common purpose. He further submitted that the trial court found that it is the first appellant who arranged for a taxi to collect him from Tlokweng.

    “It was further established that he changed the destination from UB to Block 9. The deceased was killed at Block 9. The murder weapon was found in the second appellant’s possession. There is no rational basis for holding that the first appellant parted with the deceased at Block 9 and then the deceased met with the second appellant who murdered him independently of the first appellant.

    The first appellant’s version of events was rejected as false,” he said. Meanwhile, the other two killers from Gantsi had their death sentence confirmed, but the court was yet to give reasons for their confirmation. The duo that has been sentenced to death and nearly 20 years on other charges for the 2014 incident had hoped to overturn their sentence on all charges including murder, abduction and arson.

    They were mainly challenging Lobatse High Court judge, Justice Abednego Tafa’s finding that there were no extenuating circumstances in the murder conviction therefore declaring the pair to hang. Kgalalelo, 33, and Mpe, 29, were in 2017 found guilty and were convicted of attacking their employer Vorster, stealing her Toyota Hilux valued at P300, 000, two cellphones and cash amounting to P11, 000.

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  6. #16
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Botswana executes two convicted murderers

    By AFP

    Botswana, one of the few democracies to still enforce the death penalty, on Saturday executed two men convicted of murder.

    The latest executions bring to four the number of hangings since President Mokgweetsi Masisi was elected last October.

    Moabi Seabelo Mabiletsa, 33, and his co-accused Matshidiso Tshid Boikanyo, 39, were hanged to death in the capital Gaborone, the prison services said in a statement.

    The two were handed the death sentence for the murder of a taxi driver six years ago.

    Botswana, which previously executed a man last month and another one in December, is the only country in southern Africa still regularly hanging convicts.

    The death penalty has been legal in Botswana since its independence from Britain in 1966.

    Nearly three-quarters of the world's 195 states have either abolished the punishment or not carried it out over the past decade, according to rights group Amnesty International.

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  7. #17
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    So that's it for the class of 2017 of Botswana, 6 were executed and the other Tshiamo Kgalalelo died in a hospital on May 26, 2019.

    I can't find anything about the classes of 2018 and 2019.
    Last edited by Mike; 03-28-2020 at 02:22 PM.
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