Prison love triangle trial in final stages

by Roland Routh

Windhoek

The trial of three prison inmates accused of murdering a fellow inmate is in its final stages, with Judge Dinah Usiku indicating yesterday announcing when judgment will be delivered.

She indicated this at the end of submissions by State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu and state-funded defense counsels Mbanga Siyomunji and Milton Engelbrecht on the guilt or not of Herman Rukero, Benedictus Afrikaner, 29, and Maleachi Seibeb, 48, charged with murdering Eddy /Gomxob, 33, with a sharpened metal piece of a broom at Cell 4 of the Maximum Security Unit of Windhoek Correctional Facility, allegedly because of intimate relations between them gone wrong.



It is alleged the trio stabbed Gomxob at least 14 times with the self-made weapon and also stomped on his head and kicked him during the lunch hour on Wednesday January 18, 2012.

Ndlovu argued that all three men must be convicted as charged, as they acted with common purpose when they killed the deceased. She further said evidence was produced by the State that proves the three accused planned the killing and executed their plan. She said it is not necessary for the State to prove who delivered the fatal blow, as all three accused were assaulting the deceased together and had the intention to kill the deceased. She said the doctor who conducted the post mortem testified that the wound that killed the deceased was on the chest and the head. She said the doctor testified that the deceased was stabbed 11 times on the chest with a sharp object and also sustained blunt force injuries to the head.

Ndlovu said this corroborates the evidence of witnesses, who testified they saw Seibeb stomping on the head of the deceased. The three also face a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice for allegedly threatening fellow inmates not to talk about what happened.

Siyomunji, on behalf of Rukero and Seibeb, argued that the State failed to prove its case. He said Rukero from the onset did not deny stabbing and killing the deceased, but claimed self defense after he was attacked by the deceased in the ablution facility of Unit 7. He said Seibeb claimed not to have participated in the stabbing and had stumbled upon it by accident and tried to defuse the situation.

Siyomunji said evidence led by the State proved the claims of his clients. He said it was evident from the trial proceedings that none of the evidence of the main witnesses for the State was corroborated. He said when due consideration is had to all the evidence produced, no court acting carefully can convict.

Engelbrecht argued that his client, Afrikaner, is only guilty of culpable homicide and if the court is convinced he murdered the deceased it must be without direct intent. His client admitted stabbing the deceased with a wire he normally used to repair radios with when he chanced upon him and Rukero fighting in the toilet, Engelbrecht said, but Afrikaner’s intent was only to hurt the deceased.

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