The High Court in Oshakati has finally set free a man that was sentenced to 20 years in prison for stealing a goat valued at N$550.
Lazarus Neto Andonya, 39, is now a free man after Judge Marlene Tommasi reduced his 20-year-sentence to two years from the original date of sentence.
He had unfortunately already served seven years of the sentence.
Andonya, an Angolan, was found guilty of livestock theft and sentenced in 2008 to an effective 15 years in prison and a suspended prison term of five years after he stole a neighbour’s goat.
The theft took place in 2006 at Ongwali village where he was employed as a cattle herder.
In 2009 he appealed for a reduced sentence but he lost the appeal. This was before 2011 when the courts struck down the controversial 20 years minimum sentence for livestock theft. Andonya then appealed again in September this year when his case finally came before court.
Advocate Philippus Brink who appeared for the State said one of the reasons why Andonya’s appeal took long to be finalized was because both the State and the defence counsel could not locate the original records of the case.
The two parties had to agree on finalizing the case without the original documents.
Grace Mugaviri represented Andonya.