HIGH Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi, has postponed to 5 August 2015, the trial of a Mosamane shop-owner claiming he was forced to kill out of fear.
Motlalepula Setoi (40) briefly appeared before the court on Tuesday this week charged with the murder of Tieli Maiketso on 4 August 2010.
Setoi has pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm without the required registration papers, but denied the murder charge.
It is the state’s case that on the day in question, a man called Thabo Sarele allegedly approached Setoi and informed him about the death of his father, Sarele Sarele. Sarele had allegedly been murdered by Maiketso, and Setoi was promised M20 000 should he avenge the killing, failing which he would be punished, the High Court was told.
Desperate to save his life and for the M20 000 bounty, Setoi told the court he was tempted to be part of the plot, and was even assured that he would not be arrested should he carryout the murder.
Setoi told the court: “Thabo offered me M20 000 to kill Tieli, and at first, I refused to have anything to do with it. But he told me that if I refused, I would also die just like his father.”
The accused further alleges Sarele continued to put pressure on him to accept the assignment and even convinced him that he had, “arranged” with two constables, Mosao Mosao and Rehebohile Malakane, that he would not be arrested after the murder.
“I wasn’t convinced at all despite these assurances, but because he persisted that I should choose between death and the M20000, I ended up agreeing to the plot,” he said.
Setoi admitted before court that he shot Maiketso three times as he was being escorted to the court from hospital by constables Mosao and Malakane.
“But to my surprise, I was immediately arrested by the two policemen, whom I had assumed were part of the murder plot,” said the accused, who is out on M500 bail.
Setoi is being represented by Advocate Letzadzo Kometsi and while Crown counsel is Advocate Hlalesang Motinyane.
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