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Murder convict, Masilo not going down without a “fight”

Keletso Thobega

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Thabo Masilo did not cringe when Judge Abednigo Tafa found him guilty of murder this past Thursday. Masilo stood erect staring ahead as if in a trance.

There was not a mutter in the courtroom when Justice Tafa stated that Masilo had intentionally murdered former St. Joseph’s College learner Tshepang Motlhabane on 16 November 2012 in Phase 4 Gaborone. In his ruling, Tafa argued that Masilo could not claim that he was acting in self defence when he had stabbed Tshepang three times. Masilo had through his lawyer Kgosi Ngakayagae insisted that Tshepang was his lover and he had stabbed her following an altercation because she had grabbed him by the balls when he had demanded his phone and P100 he had borrowed her.

Post mortem results show that Motlhabane had three wounds and died from a vein rupture. “If it was indeed self-defence, he would have not stabbed the deceased three times in different places. It is without a doubt that the accused had come to the house with the intention to commit an offence but faced with resistence from his victim, he decided to stab her,” said the judge.
He however dismissed the robbery charge.

It remains a mystery how Masilo gained entry into the property, which had a high wall and alarm system. Curious members of the public, relatives and friends of Tshepang as well as relatives of Masilo flocked Court Room 5 of Lobatse High Court for the ruling. The courtroom was so packed that some people sat at the back on the floor.

Masilo, who has lost a lot of weight, seemed to suffer a ‘leaky bladder’ as he went to the bathroom several times, escorted by prison officers. At one point during the long ruling, Masilo stopped proceedings, and through his lawyer Ngakayagae, complained that there were certain people in the courtroom taking pictures of him.

These people were seen by him only. The ruling that was read over nearly two hours painted a sad ending for the little girl who sustained wounds above the eye, on the chest and died a day after the attack. Tshepang is said to have at one point said to a nurse and relative: A lo boleletse mama gore ke a swa (Did you tell my mother that I am dying). Information provided by medical personnel indicates that she had lost a lot of blood.

Tafa read statements by 13 witnesses including Security System officers, police officers, a forensic expert, nurse, doctor, a relative and a photojournalist. All corroborated that the girl had been attacked and had locked herself in her bedroom from her assailant, who was much later found in hiding in the house. Masilo had claimed that he and the deceased were dating and he had loaned her P100 and his Nokia phone. However, when he visited her and asked that she return the money, a fight ensued and she held him by the testicles.

This, he claimed, led to him taking a kitchen knife and stabbing her in self-defence because she did not want to let go of him. Tafa said that this version of events was questionable and noted that only the accused and deceased were in the house at the said time and it would be difficult to determine exactly what had happened. He however said that there was no doubt that Masilo had killed Motlhabane.

He also noted that Masilo’s actions showed guilt as he had hidden in the ceiling of the house when he heard Security Systems personnel breaking into the house, and had also claimed to have drunk poison. He said if it was not his intention to kill Tshepang; he would have cooperated with the security officers and asked them to help Tshepang promptly.

Following the ruling, Masilo’s lawyer Ngakayagae asked for a date to be set for submissions on extenuation, saying that they would present three witnesses. The date was set to 7 February 2019 at the Gaborone High Court.

Masilo, who is already serving 15 years for robbery and rape, appears to come from a decent home. Many of his relatives were in court to offer moral support. His mother, who appeared agitated, has been by his side from day one. Considering that the family is paying one of the best lawyers in the country, it is safe to say that money is not a problem.

Although Masilo has already been found guilty, the fight appears to be for a more lenient sentence as he faces the hangman’s noose. Outside court, different camps spoke in hushed tones discussing the ruling. The mother of the late Tshepng looked sombre and frail. It is clear that the pain has not left her.

Shying away from flashing cameras and curious glances, she briefly said she was pleased Masilo had been found guilty but refused to comment further. An unidentified family representative chipped in that they were happy with the ruling. Quizzed on how they felt about Masilo she said: “We have forgiven him because we are Christians. But we are glad that justice will be served.”

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BUSHIRI HELPED US

Yvonne Mooka

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The torment that Keloneilwe family in Goo Kodisa had been subjected to for over a year is now a thing of the past.This is thanks to the intervention of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, if what Kgosi Moalakwena Keloneilwe says is anything to go by.

He told The Midweek Sun that he went to see Prophet Shepherd Bushiri in Pretoria on April 12 and was told by Major One, as Bushiri is known, that all is well. “When I arrived at his church, I met him and showed him The Midweek Sun article about the incident and he laid hands on it and said ‘It is done.’ “He didn’t say much,” said Keloneilwe. He said that the Enlightened Christian Gathering leader also gave him anointing oil.

“He also preached that when we pray in tongues, the anointing oil changes into the Holy Spirit and that it can do anything that we ask it to do. “He warned that if we don’t use it properly, it can be dangerous. But again, the prophet taught us that anybody can perform miracles,” said the tribal leader, who is also a cousin to the family that was tormented by the evil creature.

Kgosi Keloneilwe said that he was speechless when he arrived back home to find that government through social workers had instructed that the family move to Moshupa into a Village Development Committee house. “That same Monday, they moved to Moshupa which makes sense concerning what the prophet was saying that it is done.

The children have even gone back to school,” he said. He said that he did not tell his cousins that he was going to see Bushiri and only told them when he came back. The family has been tormented by an unknown creature, believed to appear in the form of a snake, a monkey the next minute and also a dirty doll.

In a previous interview with this reporter, the headman revealed that the children had been away from school for a year because the creature has torn their school uniforms into pieces. He also said that efforts to take them to school were made difficult by the fact that the creature throws stones at any car that takes them to school. It was also said that it threw stones at the children and slapped them if they dared go to school.

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World telecoms day commemoration in Sefhare

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President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi will join the ministry of transport and communications to commemorate the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) in Sefhare this coming Friday.

The event will be held at Sefhare Primary School grounds starting at 0900hrs. This year the commemorations will be celebrated under the theme ‘Bridging the Standardization gap’. Bridging the Standardization gap is one of the strategic goals of the International and Communication Union’s (ITU) standardisation sector. The purpose of WTISD is help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of internet and other Information and Communication Technologies (ITCs) can bring to societies and economies as well as ways to bridge the digital divide.

The day marks the founding of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).On the 17th May 1865 when the first International telegraph Convention was signed in Paris. This year we celebrate 50th Anniversary of World Telecommunications and Information Society Day which has been celebrated annually since 1969.

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