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October 30 2008 | BOTSWANA


Former Congress Party Youth League secretary general Modise Mokwadi Fly sentenced to death for murder. "I killed accidentally", the convicted man says

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Death Penalty Clips Fly's Wings

Drama unfolded at the High Court when the former Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) secretary general, Modise Mokwadi Fly, was sentenced to death on Tuesday.

This unprecedented scene happened when Justice Thomas Masuku delivered his ruling on the defence plea of extenuating circumstances. Justice Masuku, compared the circumstances in which Fly killed his two year old son, Tawana Mosinyi, to Kedisaletse Tsobane who also killed his daughter by strangulating her with a wire cable.


Tsobane was recently hanged for the murder of his 10 year old daughter, Macfallen Kgotso after the Court of Appeal confirmed his conviction and sentence.

"Although the circumstances in which the child in Tsobane was killed is different from that in the instant case, I am of the view that the situation was not markedly different, considering the much younger subject in this case, and the large axe which was used to terminate his young life. The very hands he had entrusted his life to were the very ones which destroyed it.

"Countless efforts by the police to at least be given the child were rebuffed by the accused with little ceremony," said Justice Masuku.

Immediately when the stern but sober judge mentioned the two words 'large axe', Fly protested. "My Lord, there is something I wish to say," pleaded the accused. Masuku: "Mr Fly, you are not allowed to say anything you wish to say until I finish my judgment. I will give you that chance".

The condemned Fly obliged and was later given the opportunity to speak. "Accused persons like myself who had never had any brush with the law are prejudiced. What has happened to me will happen to others at the state prison," he said. The dreadlocked Fly said he would accept the sentence rendered by the court. He also took the '15 minutes' of fame to apologise to the Mosinyi family and said he killed his son Tawana by accident.

"I say to the Mosinyi family to forgive me because I killed the child accidentally," he said before waving to the audience defiantly with a smile.

Since the emotional Fly was seemingly enjoying himself, the judge calmly pleaded with him to allow him to finish reading his judgment. Fly obliged.

Justice Masuku advised the ever smiling Fly to raise whatever complaints he had with the Court of Appeal. Before the judgment, all eyes were on Fly. who was all over the court conversing with friends and relatives to the ire of members of Botswana Prisons Service who were supposed to keep an eye on him.

He also took the opportunity to bid farewell to his only sister who was in tears. "You are now alone and only trust God. You must be strong to stand against our relatives who were not there during our time of need. Some of them failed to counter fabricated evidence used against me in this case," said Fly.
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