Deceased’s father wants panga killer to pay

Facing consequences… Joel Petrus.


The father of a young woman who died at the hands of her boyfriend in Gobabis in August 2012 asked the court to make the accused pay for his murderous deeds.

While the grieving father said he knows it will not bring his daughter back, he said it will bring a sense of peace and justice to see the man who killed his daughter get what he rightly deserves.

Thomas Erastus was testifying in aggravation of sentence in the murder trial of Joel Petrus, 34, who was convicted of intentionally killing his live-in girlfriend in Gobabis with a panga.

Petrus was convicted in April this year by High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka for intentionally hacking Maria Erastus to death over a suspicious text message on her phone.

In mitigation of sentence Petrus, who admitted to striking the deceased with the panga, said he did not intend to kill her and that he regrets his actions.

“I feel very bad for what I have done and want to ask forgiveness from the family of the deceased, the court and the entire Namibian nation,” Petrus said.

During his testimony Erastus told the court that while he accepts the apology of Petrus he cannot forget what he has done.
According to him the deceased stayed at his house together with Petrus and looked after his house – doing cleaning, washing and ironing.

During cross-examination Boris ‘The Mouth’ Isaacks, who represents Petrus on instructions of the Department of Legal Aid, told Erastus he do not believe him when he says he forgives the accused.

“You heard the accused ask for forgiveness, and you say you forgive him, and yet you want him to be sent to prison for a long time,” Isaacks fired back at the father.

Petrus was convicted on April 5 on a charge of murder with direct intent, read with the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, for killing Maria Erastus with a panga during the period August 4 to 5, 2012.

According to the post-mortem report Maria had four deep cut wounds to her face and neck and two stab wounds in her back.
The stab wounds to her back penetrated her lungs and were potentially fatal, the doctor who conducted the post-mortem testified. He added that the wounds to her face and neck damaged the major blood vessels, leading to massive and fatal bleeding, while her spinal cord was severed.

During the judgement Judge Siboleka said: “From the accused’s own account of what transpired, in front of him stood an unarmed, defenceless lady, his own girlfriend.

“He cut her on the left side of the neck three times in succession, as a result of which she fell down. These three deep cut wounds, on the deceased’s neck, which is one of the most delicate parts on a person’s body, show that he did not only intend to injure her very seriously, but to kill her outright.

“As if these injuries were not enough, the accused still proceeded to inflict two deep lung penetrating stab wounds on the upper back of her thoracic cage, which is another delicate part of the body of a person. He covered her with a duvet, locked her inside and went to sleep elsewhere. He never asked for help to take her to hospital.”

The trial was postponed to August 11 for submissions on the sentence. State Advocate Jackson Kuutondokwa prosecutes.


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