Murder accused faces judgement

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Windhoek

Judgement in the trial of Fabianus Shekunyenge, 32, accused of beating his 19-year-old girlfriend to death with sticks and palm tree branches, will be delivered tomorrow.

Judge Christi Liebenberg informed the accused of the date of the judgement after hearing final arguments on the verdict on Tuesday.

Shekunyenge is accused of assaulting the mother of his two-year-old child at the DRC settlement in Swakopmund on October 28, 2012, resulting in her death on November 02, 2012 while being transported by ambulance to Windhoek for treatment.

It is alleged that he attacked Rodnella Awises during the early morning hours of that Sunday and kicked and beat her all over her body with sticks and other objects, including a palm tree branch, and then poured water over her.
He then dragged her into his shack where the police found her in a critical condition and took her to Swakopmund Hospital.

She however died in transit to Windhoek due to blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen and extensive trauma of soft tissue due to the assault on her, it is alleged.

According to the post-mortem, she died as a result of a ruptured spleen.
During argument State Advocate Shakwa Nyambe asked the court for a conviction of murder .
He said it was evident from the continuous assault and the failure of the accused to get medical help that he intended to kill the deceased.

He further said the attacks were directed at the most vulnerable parts of the body of the deceased and were vicious assaults.

According to Nyambe, evidence was led that the deceased was not a threat to Shekunyenge as he had wanted the court to believe.

Shekunyenge testified in his own defence that he was defending himself after the deceased tried to stab him when she returned from a drinking hole in the DRC location at midnight.
Nyambe however said the accused himself contradicted this when he informed the court the deceased was staggering drunk.

The advocate questioned how a person who is staggering drunk could pose a threat that requires a beating such as the one the accused unleashed on the deceased.

“Even if the court accepts the evidence of the accused that the deceased tried to stab him, the fact that she lost the knife after he punched her in the face means that she did not pose an imminent threat to him, which is a requirement of private defence,” Nyambe further reasoned.

On his part Titus Ipumbu, the state-funded lawyer of Shekunyenge, told the court that his client’s version must be accepted.

He said that the state witnesses could not possibly have seen what happened as they testified they were not present when the fight started.

He further said the death of the deceased could also have been prevented had the doctors who examined her referred her to Windhoek earlier.

He further argued that the accused’s version must be accepted as the only possible truth.
According to Ipumbu, the fact that the knife fell out of the hands of the deceased did not mean that the attack was over.

He said the knife was still in reaching distance from where the deceased lay and this caused him to “take a palm stick which they kept in the kitchen and put the deceased out of action”.

“However, the accused did not foresee that beating the accused with a palm stick could cause the death of the deceased,” he said. “In the premises, the accused cannot be said to have exceeded the bounds of private defence,” he said.

He asked the court to convict his client of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm instead of murder.

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