MASERU — A 23-year-old man from Ha-Sekake in Qacha’s Nek stunned the High Court on Friday after he confessed to brutally killing his 80-year-old grandmother two years ago.
Seabata Makhasane was arrested and charged with the murder of Konosoang Makhasane on February 23, 2007.
Makhasane initially appeared before Qacha’s Nek magistrate, Samuel Loko, on April 11, 2007.
Loko told the High Court on Friday that Makhasane had willingly and voluntarily confessed to killing his grandmother for money.
“I cautioned him that everything he said to me would be written down and used against him in a court of law. He told me that he killed his grandmother but did not want to go to jail,” Loko said.
The magistrate said when an individual wanted to make a confession he should do so before an interpreter and a magistrate.
“In this case we were just the two of us. He was not drunk or forced by anyone.
“He was relaxed and was willing to talk. He confessed in Sesotho and I was interpreting from English to Sesotho for him,” he said.
Loko said he was not aware that the accused had been promised that he would not go to jail if he confessed.
Loko, 85, who has since retired, referred the matter to the High Court two years ago.
On Friday, Loko appeared in the High Court to give evidence in the murder trial.
Makhasane stunned the court when he repeated his statement that he killed his grandmother for money.
“I told the magistrate the truth that I killed grandmother because the police had said if I confessed without wasting their time, they would not assault me.
“I said the truth because I did not want to be tortured,” Makhasane told High Court Judge Nthomeng Majara.
“I told the magistrate that I killed her with a knife and I even went to my home with the police to show them where I had put the murder weapon.”
Earlier on Makhasane had told the court that he had only confessed to committing the crime after he was brutally tortured by the police.
“I was not free when I was giving the confession because the police had said if I told the truth, I would not go to jail.
“I had also been tortured by the police when I made the confession,” he said.
Makhasane then gave a completely different account of events that surrounded the death of his grandmother.
“I was going to a night vigil in the neighbourhood and realised the upper door was open. I used to check on her in the morning and evening as she was old.
“And when I looked inside, I saw grandmother naked. I touched her and realised she was cold and realised she was lifeless.
“I went to report the matter to two of my relatives who came and found out that her throat had been slit,” he said.
Makhasane said it was only then that he went to report the murder to the police.
But Justice Majara appeared unconvinced by this sudden U-turn.
Justice Majara asked him: “What truth did you tell the magistrate in Qacha’s Nek?”
Makhasane made yet another stunning confession.
He said: “I told the magistrate the truth that I killed my grandmother with a knife.”
Makhasane’s lawyer, Pheello Mokoena, probably realising the damage that his client was inflicting on himself, then tried to frantically bring him to order.
Justice Majara, however, ruled that the accused should be allowed to have his say.
“He is sound and sober. I will ask him again so that you can hear what he said.”
To the utter amazement of the court, Makhasane, for the third time, said he had killed his grandmother.
The case continues tomorrow.