A 30-year old woman, Bonolo Hadinga has been sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Francistown High Court for murdering her 93-year-old grandmother, Matsuka Mokwena on the 25th of June 2011 in Bobonong.
Delivering the sentence, Francistown High Court judge, Phadi Solomon said she considered what the defence attorney said in mitigation. Solomon admitted that there were extenuating circumstances in the case which eliminates capital punishment. “The accused person lost her mother while she was only 10-years-old and she has rustic background as she was raised in an extended family. She does not have formal education as she dropped out of school while doing Standard 7,” Solomon said. She noted that due to lack of formal education, Hadinga lacked emotional intelligence on how to deal with certain issues.
The judge highlighted that Hadinga might have committed the offence due to youthful exuberance as she was 23 years when she committed the offence. “I have also considered that the accused person takes care of her three children and her younger sibling,” Solomon revealed. Another factor that caused the court to temper justice with mercy is that Hadinga cooperated with the police during investigations.
However, Solomon noted that Hadinga is not a first offender as she was sentenced to three months in jail for unlawful wounding in 2007. “The accused person also used violence to rob the elderly woman during the commission of the offence which clearly shows that she is a violent person.”
Hadinga’s jail term was backdated to the 6th of September 2017 when she was first incarcerated.
It is alleged that the unemployed Hadinga suspected that her grandmother was bewitching her and she strangled her to death. After allegedly committing such a horrendous crime, Hadinga robbed the old age pensioner of an undisclosed amount of money and went to indulge in alcohol using the deceased’s money. The elderly woman was confirmed dead upon arrival at the Bobonong Primary Hospital. The post-mortem report indicated that the old woman died due to strangulation with an attempt to smothering. The police managed to arrest Hadinga and she was subsequently charged with the murder of her grandmother.