MASERU — A High Court judge has reminded a former security guard that people who carry guns “carry” lives of people and should not take them lightly.
Justice Thamsanqa Nomngcongo said this warning yesterday in the High Court when sentencing Zakaria Katu, 47, to three years in prison.
One year was conditionally suspended.
Katu, a former security guard at Frasers Shop at Ha Qaba, Matelile in the district of Mafeteng was charged with murder, but the court convicted him of culpable homicide.
He fatally shot ‘Mapontšo Motseki on March 30, 1994.
The accused pleaded not guilty.
The court heard that on the day in question it was raining when Katu saw the deceased moving towards the quarters where the shop manager was staying.
Mistaking her for a thief, Katu fired a warning shot once in the air.
When Motseki continued moving Katu shot at her and she died of gunshot wounds.
The court said as a trained security officer, Katu should have known better.
The judge said the punishment of the court must disabuse them of this tendency.
“The accused shot a defenceless woman”.
The court also agreed with the submission by defence that the accused has had to wait for a long time through no fault of his, that this must have affected him emotionally and psychologically.
However, the judge said: “I do not agree that custodial sentence would serve no purpose because it happened long time ago,” he said.
The court indicated the purpose of punishment is retribution, deterrence and reformation.
“People who carry guns need to be reminded that they carry lives of people and should not take them lightly and society must assured against such people,” the court said.