Rapist, murderer of 81-year old woman loses appeal

22nd November 2017
Justice Ian Kirby denied murderer leniency Source:The Midweek Sun


By Kemoreilwe Jimson - Reporter

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by convicted burglar and rapist, Potso Sebataladi. At 15 years old, Sebataladi brutally killed an 81-year-old woman after raping her. Other offences he committed at that time included burglary, stealing from a dwelling house, aggravated rape accompanied by injurious violence and manslaughter. In 2014, Lobatse High Court Judge, Michael Leburu sentenced him to four years imprisonment for burglary, three years for stealing, 15 years for aggravated rape and 15 years for manslaughter. The old lady died as a result of the serious injuries inflicted upon her. All the sentences were ordered to run concurrently and to also run concurrently with any other sentences he was serving.

This was in view of the fact that shortly after being released by the High Court on bail for the charges, Sebataladi committed a robbery for which he was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Justice Ian Kirby said in his ruling when dismissing the application that Sebataladi was fortunate to receive a single sentence for very serious crimes he committed. “The case was a very bad one,” said Justice Kirby. It is said the applicant, having smoked dagga and sniffed glue, targeted an elderly lady, living alone, who was known to him. He broke into her house, stole her property, kicked and throttled her, beat her with an iron rod, causing broken ribs and traumatic injuries, then raped her cruelly, and with great indignity, before leaving her in a state of nakedness to die in her yard. “As state counsel averred, this was a very serious case of manslaughter indeed, at the boundary, perhaps between that offence and murder,” said Justice Kirby.

The applicant escaped apprehension for some time but was arrested in May 2010 when the old lady’s cellphone, which he had sold, was recovered from the purchaser. After DNA testing of several young men in Thamaga, the applicant’s DNA was identified as a match to that recovered from swabs lifted off the victim’s body. “As I have said, the applicant was fortunate to have his sentences run concurrently for such a number of grave offences. State Counsel has argued that the applicant has no prospects of success in an appeal against sentence, and I can only agree,” said Justice Kirby.

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