WINDHOEK – The first witness to testify in the shotgun killing of a Havana woman by a former police officer yesterday had to relive the nightmare in the Windhoek High Court.
The witness, Rebekka Sheehama – a sister to the deceased – took the stand after Gerhard Komeya, 44, denied guilt on all the charges he faces in connection with the murder of his live-in girlfriend in September 2011.
A stoic-looking Komeya told Judge Naomi Shivute that he pleads not guilty to charges of murder, alternatively negligent discharge or handling of a firearm, pointing of a firearm, malicious damage to property and defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
His State-funded lawyer Monty Karuaihe confirmed the pleas and told the court that his client will not submit a plea explanation, but put the proof of the charges on the State.
He also said that the basis of Komeya’s defence would become clear during the trial.
The State alleges that Komeya unlawfully and intentionally killed his girlfriend Maria Kerttu Sheehama at the couple’s house in the Havana residential area of Windhoek.
According to the charge sheet, Komeya on Saturday September 10, 2011, broke, destroyed or damaged a cellphone belonging to the deceased at the residence of the deceased at Erf 594, Omutula Street, where after he announced that he would kill the deceased and their two children.
It is alleged that he then called them all together and fired shots with his licensed shotgun in their direction. The charge sheet further states that the deceased was struck in the face and that she died on the scene due to the gunshot injuries sustained.
His two-year-old daughter was also injured in the attack, but fortunately sustained only minor injuries.
It is further alleged that the accused then reloaded his shotgun and pointed it at Rebekka, who managed to flee the scene unharmed.
During her testimony yesterday, Rebekka told the court that she was at home bathing the then two-year-old daughter of the couple when Komeya arrived between 14h30 and 15h00, wanting to use the toilet.
She said that after she told him to wait until she is finished with the baby, he left only to return a little while later with a shotgun in his hands.
“While me and Maria (deceased) were sitting in the living room, he came into the house with the shotgun barrel facing the ground and asked Maria for her cell phone,” the witness recounted.
He allegedly told the deceased “you should call your mother to tell her that I will kill you today”, Rebekka informed the court.
Komeya allegedly retrieved the phone from the bedroom and smashed it to the ground.
When she asked him why he did it, Komeya allegedly told the deceased that she was “stubborn” and told her to call their small children so he can kill them all, as her sister will not be able to look after them.
The deceased then told the children to come stand with her as their father was going to kill them, she said and continued that one of the children ran away when she saw the gun in her father’s hands leaving only the two-year-old with her mother.
“The next moment he lifted the gun and shot Maria in the mouth,” Rebekka testified and in the process also damaged a microwave that was on a table.
She also said that after the deceased was shot, she called out to her and that Komeya then went over to the deceased and said “so you are still alive and still talking” before he shot her for a second time.
She further informed the court that she then went to the corner to pray and that Komeya pressed the single shot shotgun he reloaded in the meantime against her forehead and told her “God will not help you”.
He then allegedly told her “come and see what happened to your sister because she was stubborn” where after he chased her from the house.
The case continues today with Rebekka still under cross-examination.