MASERU — A Sekamaneng motorist who ran over a pedestrian near Lakeside Hotel on the outskirts of the capital is off the hook after he got a wholly suspended sentence on Thursday.
Teboho Molatoli, 33, who pleaded guilty to culpable homicide when he appeared in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court, had been sentenced to a year in jail or an optional fine of M1 000.
Magistrate Senekal Qobolo, however, suspended the whole sentence for three years.
Crown counsel Mpati Maqolo told the court how Molatoli had on January 14 this year hit Motsohae Nthoroane, 24, who died the following day at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital where he had been admitted after the accident.
Magistrate Senekal Qobolo, in his judgment, said the accused ought to consider himself lucky “because the parents of the deceased are Christians who have forgiven you and the court has no reason not to do the same”.
Qobolo also noted Molatoli’s conduct had shown he was not a criminal hence the “light sentence”.
“I am told you played a big role in burying the deceased,” the magistrate said.
“But you must also thank the deceased’s family for forgiving you.
“I will also do the same but for the mere fact that you pleaded guilty.
“You are sentenced to pay M1 000 or a year in prison. The whole sentence is suspended for three years.”
In mitigation, Molatoli said he had done the best he could to assist his victim. He had rushed the victim to hospital.
“It was after 2130hours when this accident took place. I took him to hospital and I did not run away,” Molatoli told the court.
“I reported the accident at Pitso Ground Police Station and the following day I went to see him at the hospital where, unfortunately, I was informed he had passed away.
“I then went back to the police to update them on the case.”
Molatoli asked for lenience saying he was his family’s breadwinner.
“I’m married and my wife is unemployed. My parents also depend on me,” he said.
“I have promised to help the family of the deceased (financially) during the cleansing ceremony.”
Asked by the court how she felt the deceased’s mother, ‘Mamoliehi Nthoroane, expressed satisfaction with the sentence.
“The accused helped us bury our child. It was an accident. He did not intend to kill anyone,” she said.