Murder convict jailed for 35 years

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WINDHOEK – The man who was convicted of murdering his 10 -12 week pregnant girlfriend on a resettlement farm in the Gobabis area will have to spend the next 35 years behind bars, Judge Christi Liebenberg ordered last week.

Judge Liebenberg sentenced Jacob Khoikhoi, 27, to 35 years’ imprisonment for the “senseless” killing of Anna Pana, also known as ‘Sellie’, on the resettlement farm Sommerkoms.

The murder took place on March 09, 2013.

The judge noted that the gravity of the offence and the legitimate interests of society by far outweigh the personal circumstances of Khoikhoi.

According to Judge Liebenberg he could not endorse the submission of Mbanga Siyomundji, the state-funded lawyer of Khoikhoi, that Khoikhoi is a youthful offender that could be rehabilitated.

The fact he already fathered two children and was living in a domestic relationship clearly dispelled that notion, he stated.

Khoikhoi dismally failed in his responsibility to “nurture and protect those near and dear to him,” as he not only killed his intimate partner, but also his unborn child.

According to the judge it was evident from the facts of the case that Khoikhoi showed no respect for his life partner or their children when he killed her in such a “brutal and heartless manner”.

“There is no justification for the accused’s repulsive conduct,” the judge stressed.

He further said Khoikhoi clearly showed no mercy for the deceased who was unarmed and posed no threat to him.

According to the judge, the fact Khoikhoi showed no remorse for his “abhorrent” act is aggravating and the manner in which he approached his trial clearly showed he was not willing to accept any responsibility for his wrongdoing and would do whatever it took to escape justice.

“However,” the judge said, “justice will prevail and the accused should deservedly be punished.”

According to Judge Liebenberg, Namibians have sadly become accustomed to the senseless killing of vulnerable persons in society and in too many instances murders are committed in a domestic setting.

“There is undoubtedly widespread outrage of these crimes in our society and despite the court’s warnings to impose heavier sentences, this unfortunate and repulsive conduct continues unabated,” emphasised Judge Liebenberg.

The judge said more and more voices are heard daily calling for an end to the unrelenting killing of vulnerable people.

He said severe punishment is called for and for this reason the natural indignation of interested persons and the community at large must receive recognition in the sentences the courts impose.

While the prison system is these days leaning towards rehabilitation, in the present instance retribution and deterrence as sentencing objectives must come to the fore and reformation has to take place within the confines of prison, Judge Liebenberg said.

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