Otjimbingwe resident Kaxui Katjivi, 33, who admitted he stabbed his common-law wife several times in order to kill her, but said it was due to prolonged provocation, was on Tuesday convicted of murder with direct intent by Judge Christi Liebenberg in the Windhoek High Court.
Judge Liebenberg found that Katjivi’s claim that he was provoked by the deceased, Dina Anton, and her sister Bertha Tlao Eises, was “recent fabrications” and that he stabbed her at least ten times with a knife at Otjinene in the Gobabis District on July 31, 2014 to prevent her from leaving him.
Katjivi claimed that on the day of the stabbing, Anton and her sister dared him to kill them and continuously insulted him and his mother and that he could not take it anymore and just decided “jail must come, I will go and sit in jail” before he stabbed the deceased.
Judge Liebenberg however found that there was no provocation and that the evidence of the two State witnesses – whose testimony, was credible and to the point – clearly rebutted the evidence of Katjivi about the provocation.
According to Judge Liebenberg the evidence of both Bertha and Alfeus Katai Haurumbu about Anton wanting to leave the house was never challenged.
He noted Katjivi contradicted himself in more than one way in material aspects.
In his plea explanation Katjivi stated that both Anton and Eises hurled insults at him, but in his testimony on his own behalf he said it was only Eises who insulted him and that he and the deceased were “at peace”, the judge noted.
“There is a marked difference between the two versions which the accused, when asked to explain, was unable to do,” the judge said, adding that when it is considered together with the unexplained contradictions in his testimony, the only reasonable conclusion to come to is that it was recently fabricated evidence.
“On his own account there seems to have been no reason for the accused to have attacked the deceased as they had resolved their differences shortly before Bertha returned and the deceased not intending to leave him,” the judge further stated.
There is no doubt Katjivi acted with direct intent to kill when he stabbed the deceased, the judge stated. “This is borne out by the weapon used and regard being had to those parts of the body at which the stabs were directed,” he emphasised.
He further said that the post-mortem report reflected multiple deep stab wounds on the front and back upper body, three of which punctured the left lung and the liver. According to the judge, the nature of the injuries, especially the penetrating wounds, is indicative of the force applied.
According to the judge, while it was submitted by Katjivi’s State-funded lawyer, Afrika Jantjies, that he did not plan the stabbing and thus did not act with direct intent, he (judge) do not agree. “He might not have planned his actions in advance, but what is clear from the evidence adduced is that he intended bringing about the deceased’s death by inflicting several lethal injuries to her upper body, resulting in almost instant death.”
Judge Liebenberg concluded: “I am accordingly satisfied that the evidence duly established the accused to have acted with direct intent.”
Katjivi was also convicted on a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and a further count of assault.