Murder suspect professes innocence

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WINDHOEK – Charles Michael Swartz, who was 19 years old when he allegedly killed his pregnant girlfriend in 2012, denied guilt on all charges he faces when he appeared before High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on Monday.

Swartz admitted stabbing the deceased and that she died from the stab wounds. However, he claimed he acted in self-defence.
He said the deceased attacked him first with the intention to injure him and he stabbed her to stop her from killing him.

According to a plea explanation, he further denies he assaulted the deceased by kicking her several times on her body and beating her with steel wire all over her back.

He also denied he “ever, ever” assaulted the complainant in the third count by threatening to kill her.

According to the State, Swartz killed his girlfriend, Sara van der Westhuizen, a minor – who at the time was pregnant with his child, on October 3, 2012, in Mariental.

He further faces a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in that during September 2012, he allegedly assaulted the deceased on various occasions by kicking her several times on her body and beating her with steel wire on her back.

Swartz is also charged with assault by threat, as it is alleged on October 3, 2012, he threatened to kill Anna Maria Baisako.

According to the summary of substantial facts in the indictment, Swartz was warned by Constable Sylvanus Umati to stop assaulting the deceased on the day of the murder.

That evening he allegedly went to the parents’ house of the deceased and called her out.

When she joined him, he stabbed her at least six times before she managed to run into the safety of the house but he followed her, according to the indictment.

When the deceased tried to hide behind Baisako, Swartz allegedly threatened to kill her and then stabbed the deceased once more in the neck.

Van der Westhuizen died as a result of multiple stab wounds to her neck and chest.
Yesterday, Warrant Officer Dirk Louw testified he was asleep at his residence in Mariental when he received a phone call at 11h52 from a Mr Daniel informing him that “the suspect who killed his girlfriend was at his mother’s residence”.
According to Louw, he and some other officers then went to the location where they were met by the accused’s (Swartz) sister, who took them to him.
On their arrival there, they found him (Swartz) sitting on a bed and Warrant Officer Van Der Westhuizen told Swartz that he looking for him in connection with a murder.
Van der Westhuizen then went to Swartz and conducted a body search on him, which yielded a suicide note and a blue nylon rope.
Next to testify was Sergeant Bernolda Hendricks, who told Judge Alfred Siboleka she and a fellow officer at the Woman and Child Protection Unit warned Swartz on the day of the incident to stay away from the deceased.
Swartz, who is represented by Mbanga Siyomundji on instructions from Legal Aid, remains in custody.
Dominic Lisulo appeared on behalf of the State.

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