Jeffrey Barman, 24, the man accused of slashing the throat of the mother of his daughter at her four-year birthday party on Friday took the stand in his trial in the Windhoek High Court.
Barman told Judge Christi Liebenberg that the deceased, Melanie Booysen, was cut after he diverted a blow she directed at him with a glass she had in her hand.
“We were arguing about the meat that got burnt and she called me ‘jou sleg ding’ (you bad/evil thing) and I told her to just leave me alone,” Barman told the judge.
He said that as he tried to leave she suddenly lunged at him with the glass and as he tried to block the blow the glass broke.
According to Barman he then went past the deceased, but her mother grabbed him on his T-shirt from behind to prevent him from leaving.
“As I turned around to free myself from her grasp, both the deceased and her mother assaulted me with open hands,” he said, adding that it was the first time he noticed that the accused was bleeding.
According to Barman, while he and the deceased were arguing it was only he, the deceased, his sister Heidi and the mother of the deceased who were present. He denied that Ivan Hamaseb, who claimed to have witnessed the whole incident, was there.
Barman also denied that he was drunk as was testified by various witnesses and told the court that although he had consumed some alcohol it did not affect his faculties in any way.
“I could still walk and talk normally,” he told the court.
According to Barman he managed to free himself from the deceased and her mother and he went to the front of the house where the father of the deceased and her brother beat him with their fists but he ran to the gate where he stopped.
“The deceased and her mother then came from the back and picked up bricks which they threw at me, but I ducked and they missed,” Barman testified, adding that after this the deceased fell down.
He said he decided to run into the house to fetch his car keys to take the deceased to hospital, but the family of the deceased prevented him from doing so.
He however managed to get past them and went to fetch his keys and when he tried to lift the deceased up by her head her father told him ‘los my dogter, jou sleg ding, jy het haar klaar doodgemaak’ (leave my daughter, you bad/evil thing, you already killed her).
He however told the court that the deceased was still alive at that stage but nobody apart from him tried to help.
Barman further told the court that because of the speed he drove when he took off in the vehicle he rammed into a gate wall at a neighbour’s house which punctured his tyre and damaged the wheel of the car.
He however drove away with the flat wheel and on his way to his mother’s house the axle broke causing him to crash into a wall.
When he returned to his mother’s house, he realised that the police were looking for him and he climbed onto the roof of a neighbour’s house to hide from the police.
He was however seen by them and they told him to get off from the roof or else they would shoot.
On a question from his state-funded lawyer, Willem Visser, he said that he tried to hide from the police because he was afraid of them.
“I then jumped into my mother’s yard and when I tried to get up I could not because my leg was broken,” Barman told the court and said that the police then took him to Katutura Hospital where his leg was plastered whereafter he was arrested.