Rope killer executed


Convicted rope strangler, Uyapo Poloko was executed last week, a mere 3 months after he won a minor but inconsequential victory at the Court of Appeal.

Poloko exhausted his final appeal on the 2nd of February in a larger struggle to upstage a sentence of death handed down to him by the Francistown High Court.

The 37 year old killer was hanged by the Botswana Prisons Service at Gaborone Central Prison on Friday.He hailed from Ndzinge Ward in Senyawe in the North East District.

His hanging was ordered by the Francistown High Court on July 28, 2015 after he was convicted of murder and robbery.

Poloko was convicted for both robbery and murder of Vijeyadeyi Kandavaranam in 2010 at Ntshe location in Francistown as well as attempting to kill the deceased’s husband, Balasingnam Kandavaranam.

He received a death penalty for murder and sentenced to 12 years and 10 years for attempted murder and robbery respectively.

Poloko later appealed the judgment but was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on February 2 of this year.

Poloko had strangled her to death. He had moments earlier strangled her husband Balasingham Kandavanam who quickly lapsed into unconsciousness.

After the ghastly acts, he proceeded to ransack their house.

During the trial at Francistown High Court the husband, Balasingham who knew Poloko from the building industry, had testified that Poloko had come to his house to negotiate the sale of his second hand car on behalf of one Christopher Mazenyane.

After some negotiations, the price was agreed at P8, 000 which was paid at the Kandavanams residence on Saturday the 22nd January 2010.

Poloko would then rock up unannounced at the Kandavanams the following Monday at 6 am.

After exchanging pleasantries over tea, Poloko suggested that he view the Kandavanams’ building materials where he allegedly knew were stored in the former’s garage.

He also allegedly knew that the family was leaving the country for good.

Evidence led by Kandavanam in court stated that after washing his hands and wiping them while still in the process of viewing the building materials, Poloko immediately tied a rope around his (Kandavanam’s) neck and also took his cellphone in the process.

Kandavanam was quoted in court papers as stating, “I don’t know what happened next. The incident happened around 8 a.m. After hours, I heard some noise and the rope was around my neck and blood on my chest. ”

Balasingham’s wife, Vijayedevi, had not been so lucky. She had been strangled to death in the passageway, with a rope wrapped fourfold around her neck.

The CoA upheld the murder and robbery conviction while it determined that Poloko’s conviction for the offence of attempted murder was successful.

Justice Gaongalelwe also found that in a wide search to identify possible extenuating circumstances such as intoxication, provocation or immaturity, there was nothing in the case to suggest any.

He instead argued that the necessary inference was that Poloko had come with the intention to rob, knowing that Kandavanam had received the P8, 000 from the car sale.

“He equipped himself with the length of rope; He was prepared to use violence to achieve his purpose. All the evidence suggests that the appellant was determined to execute robbery at whatever cost,” Gaongalelwe concluded in the judgment.