The High Court on Thursday found a man guilty on a charge of rape and killing an elderly woman in the Ovitoto area east of Okahandja in September 2009.
The accused, Paulus Titus, 30, was found guilty on a charge of rape and murder in connection with the death of his employer, Erica Tjiho, 75, who was found dead inside her corrugated iron zinc house in Ovitoto on September 1, 2009.
Titus was also found guilty on a count of theft in respect of clothing and an unspecified amount of money he took from the house of the deceased shortly after the murder.
The accused person was seen coming out of the deceased person’s house by two State witnesses. He was, however, acquitted on a third charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
“In my opinion, the accused was involved in the raping and killing incident, and this is the reason why he decided to flee from the settlement of Ovitoto shortly after the incident,” said Judge Nate Ndauendapo in the High Court on Thursday in delivering his judgment.
In his testimony before court, Titus had claimed that he only slapped Tjiho a number of times in the face out of anger, because she had failed to pay his wages as he was promised and because she had tried to prevent him from leaving the place where he had been working for her in the Ovitoto area.
Titus had also disputed the correctness of the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) results, which found a match of his DNA profile in samples collected from Tjiho’s private parts.
The State said the DNA test results showed he had raped the elderly woman before he killed her on that day. The medical and post-mortem examination report shows that Tjiho died as a result of strangulation.
Advocate Carol-Ann Esterhuizen represented the State. Gobabis lawyer Hipura Ujaha defended Titus on instructions of the directorate of legal aid.
Titus must return to the High Court on April 27 for the when the State and his defence lawyer will have an opportunity to present arguments in aggravation and mitigation of the sentence to be imposed.