Groot Aub murder trial resumes

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Windhoek

The trial of Groot Aub murder accused, Gregory Kangandjera, resumed on Tuesday after a hiatus of more than six months.

Kangandjera faces one charge of murder, one charge of assault and one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice. He is appearing in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Nate Ndauendapo.

The State alleges that 35-year old Kangandjera killed his girlfriend of three months, Loretta Kruger, who was 33 at the time of her demise, at Groot Aub village during the period November 13 to 18, 2010.

On the second charge it is alleged that Kangandjera assaulted Ipuleni Natangwe by slapping him on November 13 2010. The third count states that he is guilty of defeating or obstructing the course of justice as a result of tying a rope around the neck of Kruger and a tree branch, and then reporting to the police and members of the community that she committed suicide.

Sergeant Ricky Garoëb who was the first police officer on the scene told the court that after confirming his initial findings with his fellow officers, he immediately told Kangandjera that he was a suspect and arrested him.

Before that, however, he said, when they were just talking Kangandjera told him that the deceased left his home the previous Saturday night after they had a quarrel and he had hit her with some small branches.

This did not add up when he saw the extent of the bruises on the deceased’s body, Garoëb told the court.

According to him the deceased was covered in welts and her eyes were swollen shut.

He further confirmed what another witness already said – that the rope around the tree branch was loosely tied and the knot around the deceased’s neck was neatly tied and not stretched as if someone had hung from it.

Another thing that disturbed him, said Garoëb, was the fact that where the rope supposedly broke it looked like it had been cut.

Josua Kaumbi who represents Kangandjera on instructions of the Directorate of Legal Aid tried his best to unnerve the witness, but he stuck to his guns.

While the restructured scene pictures, since the originals were lost, did not show the even cut on the rope, the detective was adamant that when he observed the rope it looked like it was cut.

He further told the court that the deceased was found lying on the ground and the whole scene seemed staged.

The autopsy report on Kruger indicates that she died as a result of eight broken ribs and blood on the brain and kidneys.

These injuries were allegedly sustained at the hands of Kangandjera.

Residents of Groot Aub staged a demonstration in front of the Rehoboth Magistrate’s Court during Kangandjera’s first appearance demanding that he be remanded in custody without bail until his trial. Kruger was pregnant at the time of her death and also left behind five other children.

State Advocate Palmer Khumalo is appearing for the State and the case continues.

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