A sick prosecutor and full court roll caused the trial of Gobabis resident Erwin Tebele, who stands accused of killing his live-in girlfriend and mother of his minor child, to next year for continuation of trial.
State Advocate Palmer Khumalo yesterday told Judge Dinah Usiku at the Windhoek High Court located at Windhoek Correctional Services that the prosecutor in the case, Felisitas Shikerete-Vendura, was booked off by the doctor.
Due to an increasingly congested court roll, the only date available to continue the trial is in next year. Judge Usiku then postponed the matter to March 13 to 17 next year.
Tebele faces a charge of murder for stabbing Nina Katjatenja once and killing her at their home at Freedom Square in Epako in the District of Gobabis.
While Tebele admits the stabbing, he said it was accidental. He claims the deceased was stabbed accidentally in the chest during a struggle for a knife.
His State-funded lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji told the court his client claims self-defense, as he was defending himself from the deceased when she was stabbed.
Siyomunji said his client was stabbed twice on the left arm with the same knife by the deceased and it was while he was trying to wrestle the knife away from her that she was stabbed.
Siyomunji further told the court the accused’s version is that he arrived late on that fateful evening and the deceased started to quarrel with him about his whereabouts and took a knife with which she stabbed him.
The accused’s version is that he then tried to take the knife from the deceased and in the process she was stabbed accidentally.
Siyomunji said his client will testify that he did not intend to stab the deceased, or to cause her death and that he greatly regrets what happened.
According to Siyomunji, the accused will testify that during the scuffle the children ran to their grandfather’s house – which was in the same yard – and when the grandfather came there he (Tebele) told him to call the police.
The deceased died on the scene due to internal bleeding caused by the stab wound.
When the police arrived on the scene he was still holding the deceased in his arms, Tebele will testify, Siyomunji told the court.
It is alleged in the indictment that during the late evening of September 3, 2013, the deceased and her two children were asleep inside the house they shared with the accused at Freedom Square in Epako.
When the accused arrived home a quarrel ensued between him and the deceased and he grabbed a knife and stabbed the deceased once in the chest.
So far the two children of the deceased have testified and because they are minors may not be identified. According to the children’s testimonies the accused arrived at their home and started quarrelling with their mother.
One of the children testified that the accused first took a fork to stab the deceased with and then a knife and the other said the accused just took a knife and summarily stabbed the deceased.
They further corroborated Tebele’s claim that they ran to their grandfather’s house after the incident.
The State is still probing its witnesses before Tebele will take the stand to tell his side of the story. He remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Services’ holding area for trial awaiting prisoners.