One of the men charged with stabbing a fellow inmate to death with self-made sharp metal objects this week told the court a failed sexual relationship was the direct cause for the murder.
According to Herman Rukero, 27, the reluctance of the deceased to accept that their relationship was over and his continued pestering for sex was the reason Eddy /Gomxob, 33, was stabbed with a sharpened metal piece of a broom at Cell 4 of the Maximum Security Unit (Unit 7) of Windhoek Central Prison.
A tragic tale of a frightened teenager sent to prison at the age of 19 years and the coercing by force by an older experienced inmate formed the basis of Rukero’s testimony when he gave evidence in his own defense.
Rukero was sentenced to a prison term of 19 years in the High Court in December 2007 for the rape, kidnapping and attempted murder of a 10-year-old girl in 2003. He committed those offences when he was 17. He pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and defeating or obstructing or attempting to obstruct or defeat the course of justice, together with Benedictus Afrikaner, 29, and Maleachi Seibeb, 49, before Judge Dinah Usiku in July last year.
While Rukero and Afrikaner admit stabbing the deceased they claim it was in self-defense after the deceased pulled out a sharp metal object in order to stab Rukero.
In his testimony Rukero claimed on that day he returned to his cell and found the deceased lying on his bed. When he asked the deceased what he was doing there he (deceased) said he wanted to apologise for the way he treated Rukero.
“I then told him not to bother and he told me not to issue orders to him,” Rukero said. He further said he then went to the toilet and after a few minutes the deceased followed him and told him that he would not accept the break-up and would continue to sleep with him and tried to hold him.
He then pushed away the deceased, who threw a couple of punches at him and then pulled a “wire” from his left side. “I then grabbed his hand and kicked his feet from under him and he fell, after which I took the “wire” from him and started to stab him,” Rukero explained. This was when the second accused, Afrikaner, reporrtedly came into the bathroom. When he saw the vicious fight he joined in and stabbed the deceased repeatedly.
He said he does not know how many times and where on the body they stabbed the deceased, but indicated it was in the general direction of his chest. According to the indictment the deceased was stabbed 14 times.
Rukero was adamant he left the deceased alive in the cell and said, “I only wanted to hurt him bad so he would leave me alone.”
Rukero said the relationship between him and the deceased started shortly after he was sent to prison in 2007, but he ended it in 2009. He told the court the deceased would force himself on him and was very violent towards him if he refused.
He denied Seibeb was involved in any manner and told the court when Seibeb entered the bathroom he told him to get out, which happened.
When State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu told him he is lying to the court and that he, Afrikaner and Seibeb planned the murder Rukero became agitated and said “I am not here to tell lies. Why would I admit to the sexual intercourse between me and the deceased when the whole world can read about it? It is a disgrace to me.”
It is alleged the trio stabbed Gomxob at least 14 times with the self-made instrument and also stomped on his head and kicked him during the lunch-hour on Wednesday January 18, 2012.
Rukero and Seibeb are represented by Mbanga Siyomundji and Afrikaner by Milton Engelbrecht on instruction of the Legal Aid Directorate.