WINDHOEK – Judge Christi Liebenberg yesterday in the Windhoek High Court found Jacob Khoikhoi, 27, guilty of murder with direct intent.
Khoikhoi was convicted of murdering his pregnant girlfriend on the resettlement farm Sommerkoms on March 09, 2013.
In his judgment, the judge said he was satisfied the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt Khoikhoi had the intention to kill his romantic partner, Anna Pana, also known as “Sellie” who was 10 to 12 weeks pregnant.
According to Judge Liebenberg, despite minor differences, the State witnesses all corroborated each other in material aspects, contradicting Khoikhoi’s version of events.
It was evident from any of the three versions Khoikhoi forwarded to the court that there could be no question of him acting in self-defence when he stabbed the deceased.
“From the first version it is clear that the alleged unlawful attack was already completed with the deceased posing no further threat to him when he wrestled the knife away from her, thus his subsequent stabbing of the deceased was clearly in retaliation and self-defence,” stated the judge.
The accused abandoned his claim of self-defence during his testimony when he claimed the deceased was “accidentally stabbed when rushing forward into the knife”.
He ruled that the evidence from Khoikhoi about having acted in self-defence is so improbable it cannot be reasonably true when considered in the light of all the evidence.
“What is further clear from the accused’s evidence and his instructions to counsel is that he contradicted himself to the extent that the respective versions are simply irreconcilable,” Judge Liebenberg further emphasised.
He said there was no bona fide mistake by the accused.
On the contrary, the judge stressed, the evidence was fabricated with the aim to mislead and it already started the moment the police arrived at the scene and continued right through the investigation and the trial.
The alleged attack on Khoikhoi, either by the deceased or a boyfriend, was clearly an afterthought and stood to be rejected as false beyond reasonable doubt.
He noted despite inconsistencies in the testimonies of the witnesses he found their evidence to be reliable.
He further said judging from Khoikhoi’s “conduct at the moment of the commission of the offence, and the circumstances surrounding the event which led to the deceased being fatally injured, considered together with the accused’s earlier statements that he intended stabbing the deceased, it is evident that he subjectively formed the intent to stab the deceased several times with a knife”.
He continued: “Furthermore, these blows were forceful and directed at aspects of the deceased’s body considered to be vulnerable, i.e. the head and upper body, resulting in death.”
In the end the judge was satisfied the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt Khoikhoi acted with direct intent to kill.
He indicated he would deliver sentencing on Friday March 13 after both counsels argued in mitigation and aggravation.
Defence counsel Mbanga Siyomundji argued given his relative young age, Khoikhoi is a candidate for rehabilitation and asked the judge to give him that chance.
He recommended a sentence of 25 years with five years wholly suspended.
State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu asked the court to send out a strong message that violence against women and children would no longer be tolerated by the courts.
She said instances of violence, especially in a domestic setting are increasing and a cause for alarm.
“Tell all would-be offenders out there that this will not be tolerated by the courts by sending the convict to jail for at least 35 years,” Ndlovu implored Judge Liebenberg.