Man Gets 20 Years In Jail For A P50 Debt Murder


A 35-year-old herdboy from Kedia, convicted of killing a man for a P50 debt nine years ago has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by Francistown High Court Judge Taboka Slave.

Keineetse Thapelo (35) fatally stabbed one Nchi Esang sixteen times and clobbered his head with a knobkerrie for demanding a debt of P50.  It was the demand for payment that turned nasty and bloody, after Thapelo told his fellow herd boy Esang he did not have money on him, but would settle the debt, once he gets change.

According to evidence led in court, on that fateful day of September 15, 2015, Esang is said to have lost his cool and started hurling insults and threatening to kill Thapelo for not paying back the P50.

“You take me for granted, malnourished child. Today I am going to return you back into your mother’s womb or belly. Wherever you came from,” narrated Thapelo. “These are the insults Esang threatened me with.”

“Angry he threatened to kill me and walk scot free,” claimed Thapelo.

He told the court that he stabbed the now deceased Esang because he feared for his life following the utterances that provoked him. Out of rage Thapelo reached into the pockets of his trousers, and brought an Okapi knife.

As he tried to stab Esang, a fight for the deadly weapon ensued. With Thapelo losing possession of the Okapi knife. Disarmed, Thapelo got hold of a knobkerrie and pounced on Esang, sending him tumbling to the ground.

A second attempt to strike, Esang is said to have blocked the knobkerries and the handle of the wooden weapon snapped. Esang managed to flee from Thapelo. Only for the Thapelo to pursue the unarmed rival.

In the chase Esang is said to have tripped and fell again, at which stage Thapelo grabbed his rival’s leg and stabbed several times on his thighs, back, in the palms of hands and in the abdomen. Leaving his body soaked in blood.

“The accused repeatedly stabbed him with a knife, while he was down. The accused stabbed the deceased multiple times, resulting in sixteen wounds. The wounds were severe, cutting and severing the femoral vein and artery.  Leading to massive blood loss that resulted in heart failure,” said Judge Slave in her judgement.

Justice Slave dismissed Thapelo’s claim of self defence as an afterthought.

“Clearly, when the accused stabbed the deceased, the deceased was not armed, and the accused was not under any attack. In fact, the accused was the attacker. There was no imminent danger to the accused from the deceased,” continued the Judge.

“According to the pathologist the wounds sustained by the deceased, are classified as defensive injuries,” Judge Slave said in his judgement, which led to the jail term sentence.


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