The start-stop, stop-start murder trial of two men accused of brutally killing and raping a Swakopmund resident in September 2005 looks to have resumed in the Windhoek High Court yesterday without its usual hiccups.
After various postponements for a variety of reasons – including no-shows by both accused – resulting in the forfeiture of their respective bail, coupled with the withdrawals of various State lawyers it looks as if murder accused Kingsley Dausab, 44, and Michael Tsowaseb, 41, will get their 15 minutes in the limelight, although in this case it has been more than 10 years in coming. Dausab and Tsowaseb were supposed to go on trial on charges of murder, rape, violating a dead body and theft already in June 2011, but their trial has been disrupted by a series of delays.
According to the indictment they gang-raped and killed 34-year old Menesia Owoses at Swakopmund during the night of September 3 to 4, 2005. Owoses died as a result of strangulation it is stated and they reportedly violated her body by cutting/stabbing her neck and private parts with a broken bottle, stone or other object and by inserting an object into her privates and by having sexual intercourse with her corpse, the indictment reads. Both men pleaded not guilty at the start of their trial on March 31 last year.
While defense counsel Willem Visser informed the court that his instructions are that Dausab knows nothing of the incident, because he left Swakopmund on September 2 for Okombahe via Usakos, this was directly contradicted by Dausab’s girlfriend at the time, who testified she was with Dausab in Swakopmund that evening.
According to Petrina Huibes, she and Dausab were together at her house on the evening of September 3 and left together to go out.
Tsowaseb informed the court through his then State-funded lawyer Louis Karsten that he will not disclose the basis of his defense, but chooses to remain silent. He is now represented by Mese Tjituri also on the ticket of legal aid after Karsten withdrew due to issues with legal aid.
His defense seems to indicate that he is blaming Dausab for the murder. However, his father has already testified that Tsowaseb confided in him that the latter wanted to participate in the rape, but that Dausab had already killed the deceased by breaking her neck when he tried to have intercourse with her.
In line with the testimony of Huibes, two other witnesses testified they saw the deceased in the company of the two accused and another man, identified only as “Elton”. It is not clear why the potential suspect, named Elton, is not an accused.
The witnesses testified at the time of the incident that Dausab sported “dreadlocks”, and identified him in the dock as the man with the dreadlocks who was seen in the company of the deceased. He now has a shaven head.
State Advocate Jack Eixab is prosecuting, with Judge Nate Ndauendapo presiding over the trial, which continues tomorrow.