The Lekato twins, Lesole and Lesolenyane, of Ha Tšiu were each sentenced to eight years in jail by the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Monday for killing a man over a snooker game seven years ago.
Resident Magistrate Polo Banyane-Pitso found the 25-year-old brothers guilty of culpable homicide for stabbing Chele Mabathona with a knife on 28 February 2008 before further attacking him with beer-bottles as he lay on the ground.
The incident took place in Upper-Thamae, Maseru, and followed a dispute over a snooker token worth one loti.
Mabathona died three days after the stabbing, leading to the twins’ arrest on 7 March 2008.
In her ruling, Magistrate Banyane-Pitso said Mabathona did not deserve to die over such a petty issue.
According to evidence presented before the court, the attack happened at Tlokong Lodge around 9pm when one Bokang, whose surname was not mentioned, argued with the now-deceased over the snooker token.
After failing to settle their dispute amicably, a fight broke out between the two and sensing danger, Bokang moved to the other end of the snooker-table, the court further heard.
But unknown to Mabathona, Lesolenyane, who is a friend of Bokang, was standing behind him and watching the fight all the time, it was also stated in court.
The court further heard how Lesolenyane then stabbed Mabathona with a knife in the head, and was eventually only left holding the handle as the blade had gone in so deep it remained stuck in Mabathona.
However, the assault didn’t end with the stabbing, as Mabathona was continually hit by the twins as he lay helpless on the floor.
However, in defense, Lesolenyane told the court: “I was fighting for Bokang and when I stabbed Mabathona, he also stabbed me.”
According to prosecutor Mohau Mahanyele, the twins initially pleaded not guilty but later changed.
In mitigation, Advocate Matlatse Likhoele said the brothers were the only breadwinners in their respective families and their children, aged three and six years, would suffer should they be jailed.
The twins also pleaded for a lenient sentence and promised not to commit any crime again while apologising to the family of the deceased.
However, Magistrate Banyane-Pitso would not entertain their plea for a fine as she proceeded to sentence each of them to effective eight-year jail terms.