Man accused of fratricide acquitted


Twenty-seven year old man Onkokame Mokwadi breathed a sigh of relief last week after the Francistown High Court discharged and acquitted him of the murder of his 19-year old younger brother, Eni Mokwadi, at Palapye in 2014.

The court heard that Eni had been following Onkokame from one drinking hole to another armed with a tyre lever with which he intented to assault him. Onkokame tried to run away from his younger brother but he kept on following him.

The late Eni even broke down Onkokame’s bedroom door and continued to assault him.

Their parents tried to reconcile the two siblings but to no avail. Onkokame managed to escape and took a knife inside the house. He then stabbed his younger brother in the back multiple times.

Eni was rushed to Palapye Primary Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. Onkokame was arrested and subsequently charged with the murder of his younger brother.

Delivering judgment, Justice Lot Moroka said the accused killed his younger brother out of self-defence. He noted that the deceased had a mission to kill his older brother as he was armed with a tyre lever when he pursued him from one drinking spot to another.

“The deceased had a mission to kill his brother as he even broke the door (down) when Mokwadi (Onkokame) ran home to avoid a confrontation,” the judge noted.

Justice Moroka stressed that even though the brothers’ parents attempted to reconcile them, the deceased continued his vicious attack on the accused.

“Here is a man who emerged from a vicious attack from the deceased and did not run away but took a knife and attacked his assailant out of self-defence,” Moroka observed.

He added that Onkokame hadi run away from one drinking hole to another but he could not hide from his blood thirsty younger brother.

Justice Moroka noted that self-defence was justifiable when one was under attack and the attack must be unlawful. He said one could defend oneself by any means available in the heat of the moment.

“After escaping from the unbearable assault from the deceased, Mokwadi (Onkokame) took a knife from the house and stabbed the deceased due to the consistent attack from Eni. Mokwadi was well within his right to act and defend himself,” said Justice Moroka.

“The accused person cannot be found guilty of murder as the state did not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.”

Still in his court, Justice Moroka sentenced a 26-year old man from Etsha 6, James Thwerenga, to five years behind bars for murdering Popa Molaodi seven years ago.

The two were fighting over traditional beer when Thwerenga stabbed the deceased with a knife. Justice Moraka said he decided to temper justice with mercy because Thwerenga was from a godforsaken area.

He emphasised that the short jail term was meant for the accused person to self-correct.