Judge Nate Ndauendapo yesterday sentenced Groot Aub resident, Gregory Kangandjera, 39, convicted of the murder of his five-months pregnant girlfriend, to an effective 45 years in prison.
Judge Ndauendapo convicted Kangandjera of murder with direct intent in July for strangling his girlfriend of three months, Loretta Kruger, who was 33 at the time of her demise, at Groot Aub Village during the period November 13 to 18, 2010.
He was also convicted of assault for slapping Ipuleni Natangwe on November 13, 2010.
He was further found guilty of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, as a result of him tying a rope around the neck of Kruger after the murder and a tree branch and reporting to the police and members of the community that she committed suicide.
At the time the judge said the only person who could have strangled the deceased is the accused.
“I say so, because he was the one who was angry with the deceased for dancing with Natangwe at Mafia Bar. He is the one who assaulted Natangwe and after Natangwe ran away, viciously assaulted, tripped to the ground and kicked the deceased,” he stated.
He further sentenced Kangandjera to five years in jail for the obstruction of justice conviction and one year inside on the assault conviction. The judge, however, ordered that these sentences run concurrently with the murder sentence.
He said Kangandjera did not show any remorse for his actions.
“He still maintained, despite the overwhelming evidence by the witnesses and the medical doctor that the deceased was severely assaulted and injured and that she could not have been in a position to jump out the window and walk to the tree under which she was found and hang herself,” Judge Ndauendapo said.
He said it was a tall tree and there is no way that she could have climbed that tree, put a rope around it and hung herself.
“I also closely observed the accused when he testified and he showed no hint of remorse,” Judge Ndauendapo said.
“At one point whilst giving evidence he shed a tear or two – clearly crocodile tears – in an attempt to mislead the court that he was a man of remorse.”
He noted that Kangandjera has to date not apologised to the family of the deceased. According to the judge, the deceased was so badly assaulted that she had to be carried home and the behaviour of the accused so aggressive that not one of the witnesses was willing to stop him.
The judge said one of the witnesses testified Kangandjera said while assaulting the deceased that, “he would kill somebody, go to prison and come out.”
“To prison you will go, but to come out, not so early and perhaps by the time you come out, you will be a rehabilitated man,” Judge Ndauendapo told Kangandjera. He said the crimes were well planned and premeditated.
“After you assaulted her savagely, and thereafter strangled her, you devised a stratagem to show that her death was a suicide. You created a scene to try and show that the deceased climbed a tree and hanged herself with a rope,” noted the judge.
He noted that the attempt to obscure the facts clearly failed, as the tree was beyond her reach and she was unable to walk, let alone climb a tree.
“Your actions were clearly callous, evil and barbaric. You also had the audacity to ask this court to order that you be detained in Walvis Bay so that you would be close to your mother and children,” Judge Ndauendapo said and asked: “What about the deceased’s family? They can never be close to the deceased anymore, because of your actions. That request is rejected with the contempt it deserves.”
Ndauendapo said the court took into account the fact that Kangandjera has three previous convictions, of which two for robbery and attempted murder, involved violence. He said the offences are serious and show that Kangandjera has not learned from past mistakes and has not been rehabilitated.