MASERU — A Thaba-Tseka man who was charged with murder 15 years ago was on Friday finally found guilty by the High Court.
High Court judge Justice ‘Maseshophe Hlajoane found Seoela Mahase guilty of killing one Likotsi Manyalosa following a traditional mock stick-fight.
Justice Hlajoane said Mahase seemed to have intented to kill Manyalosa because he attacked him after the mock fight had already ended.
“The evidence showed that the accused hit the deceased on the head with a stick, Justice Hlajoane said in her judgement.
“Striking the deceased with a stick on the head showed recklessness on the part of the accused.”
Justice Hlajoane said Mahase’s intention to kill was not direct but it was a legal intention because he could have seen the possibility that one could die if hit with a stick on the head.
“I therefore find you guilty of murder in the legal sense,” she said.
The judge said she would pass sentence on Friday.
“I will have to consider sentence if I want to do justice to this case.
“Now that the accused has been convicted his bail is cancelled,” she said.
In mitigation Mahase’s lawyer, Advocate Khoete Metsing, pleaded with Justice Hlajoane to impose a lenient sentence.
“I think a suspended sentence would be suitable considering the circumstances of this case.
“The accused killed the deceased when they were playing,” he said.
But Justice Hlajoane said initially Mahase’s defence was that he acted in self-defence only to change later during the trial to suggest that he accidentally killed Manyalosa when they were playing with sticks.
“The matter is postponed to Friday 18 November for sentence,” she said.