MASERU — A 54-year-old Mafeteng man, Neo Rapitsi, was this week jailed for five years after he was found guilty of culpable homicide.
Rapitsi stabbed Motiki Khoasa on the chest killing him instantly following an argument over Khoasa’s wife.
The prosecution said Rapitsi provoked Khoasa during a traditional feast at Thabaneng when he asked him about the whereabouts of his wife so that he could have sex with her.
Khoasa flew into a rage triggering a fight between him and Rapitsi.
Villagers intervened and stopped the fight.
The two were then expelled from the village assembly.
But on their way home Rapitsi attacked Khoasa. Rapitsi stabbed Khoasa on the chest and fled.
High Court Judge ‘Maseforo Mahase last week sentenced Rapitsi to five years in jail without an option of a fine.
Justice Mahase said Rapitsi had acted negligently when he stabbed Khoasa.
“The circumstances surrounding the death of the deceased clearly show that there was no intention to kill. However the accused acted negligently.
“Therefore he is found guilty of culpable homicide. The appropriate sentence in the circumstances is five years imprisonment without an option of a fine,” said Justice Mahase.
Justice Mahase criticised the prosecution for delaying the case. She said since it was a case of culpable homicide it should have been dealt with at the magistrates’ court.
“This court has never been told why the case was not prosecuted for the past eight years.
“This is one of the cases which should have been prosecuted in the magistrates’ court because as it unfolded from the start that there were no elements of murder,” said Justice Mahase.
Crown counsel, Thapelo Mokuku, told the court that the prosecution had indicted Rapitsi in 2004.
He said the delay was not caused by the prosecution.
“The crown indicted the accused way back in 2004. Therefore the crown has acted timeously to bring the matter to court for the accused to be tried,” said Mokuku.