A man accused of rape and murdering a woman at a lodge outside of Outjo in 2008 denied guilt on all charges on Tuesday in the Windhoek High Court.
Jesaya Nicanor, 40, pleaded not guilty through a Damara/Nama interpreter after State Advocate Felistas Shikerete read out the charges before Judge Christi Liebenberg.
Nicanor is charged with murder for allegedly killing Fiona Ann Holton after he allegedly raped her first for which he is facing a charge of rape. He is further charged with defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice for washing and/or hiding a pair of beige Bermuda camouflage pants the police asked for.
It is alleged Nicanor who was a contractor installing air-conditioners at the Etosha Safari Camp at the time broke into the residence of the deceased by opening a window and climbing through it.
He then attacked the deceased with an unknown object on the head and also strangled her after he raped her, the indictment read. The victim died as a result of head injuries sustained during the attack.
The State-funded legal representative of Nicanor confirmed the pleas and informed the court they are in accordance with his instructions. Mese Tjituri further told the judge his client admits that he was employed at the camp site from September 1 until his arrest on September 26, 2008.
He further admitted that he was instructed together with Marshall Horaeb to install an air-conditioner at the residence of the deceased between September 12 and 18, 2008.
He however denies that he ever visited the residence of the deceased between September 20 and 27, 2008. Nicanor further denies all the allegations preferred against him by the State and put the onus on the State to prove the allegations.
The person who discovered the body of the victim described on Tuesday afternoon the way she came across the lifeless body of the victim.
According to Juanita Holmes, who at the time was the camp manager and who was to be replaced by the deceased, she and the deceased agreed the previous evening after dinner that the deceased would not come in early and take some time to get her things in order as she had just arrived at the camp.
The next morning, Holmes said, she thus did not become worried when the deceased did not turn up for lunch, but when her (Holmes’) husband Brian and the operations manager at the camp, Alain Noirefarlise, arrived later that afternoon, she voiced her concern about the deceased’s continued absence. Noirefarlise then suggested they walk to the residence of the deceased to see what was going on, Holmes said. “When we arrived at the residence of the deceased we saw the keys were on the outside and the door was locked.” Holmes continued that she then unlocked the door and went inside while her husband and Noirefarlise waited outside in case the deceased was not properly dressed or in the bathroom.
She said that she had noticed that the door to the lounge and the door to the bedroom of the deceased were closed and when she opened the door of the bedroom she only saw the bed at first, but when she moved to leave she saw the deceased lying on her back on the floor.
“Her nightie was over her face and her body was exposed from the breasts down,” Holmes told the court, adding that she pulled the night dress back over the breasts of the deceased and threw a bed mat over her exposed genitals to “restore some dignity to the deceased”.
She then called her husband and Noirefarlise who felt for a pulse and informed them the victim was dead.
They then went to the reception area to call the police.
Husband Brian Holmes and Noirefarlise repeated the evidence during their testimonies.