Windhoek – Judge Alfred Siboleka yesterday sent Mariental resident Abraham Jantze to jail for 38 years for what he termed “the barbaric and uncalled for murder” of his girlfriend of nine months.
The killing happened after the relationship turned sour because Jantze suspected her of still seeing her ex-boyfriend.
According to the judge what makes the murder even more aggravating is the fact that Jantze had chased the deceased, Magdalena Sussana Kooper, around in full view of helpless onlookers until he eventually cornered and fatally wounded her.
Judge Siboleka convicted Jantze in September on charges of murder with direct intent – read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act – and of one count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) for stabbing the sister of the deceased, Katrina Kooper, with a knife, causing some minor scratch wounds, and one count of assault by threat for threatening to stab Willem Queen while wielding an open knife.
On the murder charge Siboleka sentenced Jantze to 38 years imprisonment, on the assault GBH he was sentenced to three years behind bars and on the assault by threat he was sentenced to two years. It was however ordered that the sentences on the assault convictions run concurrently with the sentence on the murder charge, leaving Jantze with an effective 38 years to contemplate his actions in the slammer.
Judge Siboleka said the attack on the deceased shows once again the extent of the vulnerability of defenseless women in this country. He said the grief and trauma suffered by those who had to stand by helplessly while the deceased was chased around like a chicken earmarked for lunch, do not have to be overemphasised.
“It is my considered view that society has the right to be protected from dangerous elements such as the accused,” the judge said. “Instances of this nature squarely place the court’s duty in the spotlight as the overall protector of all citizens and in particular those that cannot defend themselves, such as women and children”.
According to the judge he took the fact that Jantze was a first offender at the age of 41 and his continued incarceration of two years and nine months awaiting the finalisation of his trial into account when he determined the sentence.
However, the judge found that Jantze clearly had the intention of bringing Kooper’s life to an end that day, as evidenced by the fact that after inflicting the first stabwound to her left front upper shoulder, and despite her fleeing in a failed attempt to save her own life, the accused vigorously and for some time chased her all over the neighbourhood until he eventually caught up with her and inflicted another deep and fatal wound to her back.
He took into account the medical doctor’s testimony that a significant amount of force was used to inflict the stabwounds and could not ignore the fact that Jantze’s relentless pursuit of his victim was indeed “inhuman”.
According to the judge an appropriate sentence was required to correct a wrong impression that may have been created in the minds of the helpless onlookers at the scene of the murder, that only those who are physically strong are entitled to life and liberty in this country.
Jantze was represented by Milton Engelbrecht on instruction of the legal aid directorate, while Cliff Lutibezi appeared on behalf of the State.
by Roland Routh