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SWAZILAND: CONSTITUTION SAVES MAN FROM DEATH SENTENCE

November 21, 2012: Swaziland’s Constitution saved a 27-year-old man from getting a death sentence for murder and rape offences.
High Court Judge, Nkululeko Hlophe meted out a 35-year custodial sentence on Mandla Matsebula after being guilty of killing a woman and raping another. He sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment for the murder of Sibongile Sihlongonyane on October 26, 2008 and 10 years for having raped another woman on July 3, in the same year.
Matsebula had pleaded not guilty to the offences and was represented by Justice Mangosuthu Mzizi, while Stanley Dlamini appeared on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Matsebula had also been charged for raping Sihlongonyane, but the Crown withdrew the charge after some evidence was said to have been contaminated.
Judge Hlophe said the rape and murder offences were committed with brutality. He noted that evidence showed that not only did he strangle the woman he killed, but he also stabbed her. He said Matsebula’s total lack of remorse was an aggravating factor and made the offences more grievous.
Before sentencing, Judge Hlophe said there were no factors reducing Matsebula’s blameworthiness.
He said had it not been for the intervention of the Constitution, he would have been obliged to issue a death penalty against Matsebula.
He said Section 15 of the Constitution stated that courts were not obliged to issue death penalties where there are no extenuating circumstances in a case. Section 15 (2) states that the death penalty shall not be mandatory.
"Courts have been granted a discretion which should be exercised judiciously.
The sentence will, however, be commensurate with the seriousness of the offence. I will not issue a death sentence. The accused (Matsebula) is 27 years old. I am not, however, giving a precedent that 27-year-olds should not be given capital punishment. I am doing what I am doing looking at the circumstances of the present case," Hlophe explained.
As Judge Hlophe delivered the judgment, Matsebula stood motionless in the accused dock. Hlophe said he had taken into Matsebula’s favour that he was a first offender and a relatively young person. He said even though he was going to mete out a lengthy sentence, in his view, it would enable Matsebula to return to society after serving his sentence. He also said he had considered that Matsebula cooperated with the police as he even led them to the crime scenes after his arrest.
Judge Hlophe said Matsebula’s lack of remorse made him doubt that if he was to be given a light sentence, he would not commit similar offences in future.
He ordered that both sentences run consecutively and the first sentence was backdated to October 28, 2008 when he was arrested. (Sources: times.co.sz, 22/11/2012)

UGANDAN LAWMAKER: ANTI-GAY BILL DOES NOT CONTAIN DEATH PENALTY PROVISION
EGYPT: ISLAMISTS APPROVED A DRAFT CONSTITUTION
US: POSITIVE TREND CONFIRMED
SINGAPORE: YISHUN TRIPLE MURDER CONVICT TO HANG
IRAQ: DEPUTY GOVERNOR SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ARMED ATTACKS
CHINA: DEATH PENALTY FOR MAN WHO KILLED PARENTS FOR INSURANCE
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: ATTORNEY-GENERAL KERENGA KUA WEIGHS LETHAL INJECTION
MALAYSIA: DEATH SENTENCE APPEAL DISMISSED
EGYPT: 8 CHRISTIANS SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER CONTROVERSIAL ANTI-ISLAM MOVIE
MALAYSIA: TWO FRIENDS SENT TO THE GALLOWS FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
SAUDI ARABIA: TWO BEHEADED FOR MURDER
UNITED NATIONS: COMMITTEE CRITICIZES IRAN'S USE OF TORTURE, DEATH PENALTY AND TARGETING OF RIGHTS DEFENDERS
JAPAN: '80%' APPROVAL OF DEATH PENALTY HIT
CHINA: TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TRAFFICKING OF BABIES
SAUDI ARABIA: THREE MURDERERS BEHEADED
KUWAIT: DEATH FOR IRAQI FISHERMAN FOR KILLING KUWAITI COAST GUARD
CHINA: REVISED PROCURATORATE RULES TO IMPROVE DEATH SENTENCE REVIEW
UGANDA ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL: MPS DROP DEATH PENALTY
DEATH PENALTY: THE MISSION OF THE RADICAL PARTY IN CHAD CONTINUES
KASAB'S LAST WORDS: ‘PLEASE FORGIVE ME, WILL NEVER REPEAT SUCH A MISTAKE’
DEATH PENALTY: COMPLETION OF THE RADICAL MISSION IN CHAD
INDIA: COURT ACQUITS TWO IN 1996 DELHI BLAST
INDIA: MUMBAI ATTACKER HANGED IN GREAT SECRECY IN THE FIRST EXECUTION SINCE 2004
INDIA: SUPREME COURT FOR 'FRESH LOOK' ON CRITERION FOR AWARDING DEATH PENALTY
AFGHANISTAN: SIX MORE DEATH-ROW PRISONERS EXECUTED
UN PASSES HISTORIC RESOLUTION CONDEMNING EXECUTIONS OF GAY AND TRANS PEOPLE
AFGHANISTAN: 8 PRISONERS EXECUTED
DEATH PENALTY: FIRST MEETINGS OF THE RADICAL MISSION IN CHAD TO STRENGTHEN THE UN RESOLUTION ON THE DEATH PENALTY
Between 16 and 20 November 2012, after Israel launched its latest assault on Gaza called “Pillar
DEATH PENALTY: MISSION OF THE NON VIOLENT RADICAL PARTY IN CHAD

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