A former police officer accused of stabbing his two sons to death in April 2014 on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to all charges in the Windhoek High Court.
before Judge Dinah Usiku where he was appearing to make his plea.
The accused, Albertus Ganeb, 30, who was dressed casually in sweat pants and a T-shirt answered “not guilty” through a Damara-Nama interpreter, as each one of the charges were read to him individually by State Advocate
Palmer Khumalo. He faces two charges of murder and two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Ganeb is accused of stabbing his seven-year-old son to death on April 25, 2014 and also of stabbing his four-year-old son at least six times on his body and head, causing the boy to die in hospital six days later. He is further accused of assaulting the mother of the deceased boys once in October 2013 and again in 2014.
His new state-funded lawyer, Titus Ipumbu confirmed the pleas and said his client will not disclose the basis of his defense and thus put the onus on the State to prove each and every count against him beyond reasonable doubt. He, however, did make a plea explanation on the two murder charges.
According to Ipumbu, his client was so heavily under the influence of intoxicating liquor that he has no recollection of what happened. “He was only informed by the police after his arrest that he killed his one minor child and seriously injured the other,” Ipumbu informed the judge.
He further said with regard to the assault charges, Ganeb also denied the charge and has put the onus on the State to prove the allegations against him beyond any reasonable doubt. Ganeb remains in custody after he was re-arrested a few months after his release from custody on a technicality.
The two victims Romeo Swartz and Gregory Swartz were in the parental custody of Ganeb in Gobabis on the day in question. The charge sheet states that while he was supposed to take care of the children he allegedly first stabbed Romeo at least four times with a knife on the head and in the neck, killing the child instantly.
He then proceeded to stab the younger boy at least six times. The boy was taken to Gobabis Hospital and later transferred to Katutura State Hospital where he died on May 1, 2014 from the multiple stabbings.