Court Sentences Man To Death For Murder Of Girlfriend’s Granny!


The Francistown High Court has sentenced a 36-year-old man of Lerala to death for the 2016 murder of a 60-year-old woman.

Elijah William, who pleaded guilty to the offence, hacked his girlfriend’s grandmother, Kebaeditse Sechele once in the head with an axe while she was from buying a pint of milk from a nearby tuck shop, in the company of a friend in Chadibe.

It emerged during trial that William committed the heinous crime for P1 000 that he was promised by the deceased’s granddaughter, who was also his girlfriend.

In his confession statement before a judicial officer, William related that he was coerced into killing Sechele, by his girlfriend who wanted a plot of land transferred to her name, and that could only happen if the grandmother was dead. “She wanted to inherit the plot”.

It was to this confession that led to his conviction and sentence from Judge Bengbame Sechele, “To hang by the neck until you die.”

In sentencing Francistown High Court, Judge Bengbame Sechele said the factors highlighted in mitigation were not sufficiently appreciable to abate the accused’s moral blameworthiness. “He murdered the deceased in cold blood and without reason.”

It has emerged that on the fateful day, early morning William and his girlfriend had quarreled bitterly, resulting in the former physically assaulting latter.  The bone of contention, according to William was that whenever he did not have money, he was ill-treated, disrespected and “not regarded as a Man.”  A trend which had perpetuated for some years, in his relationship with his girlfriend.

Upon mediation of a neighbor, the couple were stopped from fighting and William was persuaded to leave Chadibe and head back to Lerala, his home village. With only P30 for transport to his name, he left the homestead where his girlfriend stayed with the grandmother, and instead of going to Lerala, he hung around Chadibe till evening, only to pounce on the elderly Sechele.

Faced with a bleak future and with blood on his hands, William told the judicial officer that the quarrel and scuffle with Keitshwaretse was staged.

“While I lingered around Chadibe, my girlfriend told me to use the P30 I had to buy alcohol, so I could have the courage to kill her grandmother.”

In mitigating for a lenient sentence and to escape the hangman’s noose, William’s defence attorney said the accused’s rustic background attributed to him being short tempered and to lack emotional intelligence to deal with conflict and situations in his life. William is the last born of the 10 siblings and has been in prison for the past five years.

His short temper is said to have landed the Lerala native, twice on the wrong side of the law.

“His self-worth was gauged by his financial standing; this was a cry for help. This cycle of rejection and lack of acceptance carried on for the years I was with Keitshwaretse”, highlighted William’s defence attorney.

“As far as his education is concerned, he has only gone as far as Standard One in school. His rustic background also has a bearing on his behavior and had never known anything beyond village life. All this having a tremendous limitation on his growth mentally, emotionally and his outlook of life.”


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