Shoe prints leaving the room of the deceased and jumping over a fence positively identified as belonging to him were just part of the evidence which convicted a man of bludgeoning his lover to death with an unknown object at Banhoff Station.
In the judgement delivered yesterday morning in the Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo said while the state’s case was mainly based on circumstantial evidence, the accused basically convicted himself when he claimed he was not in town when the deceased was killed.
“The accused’s alibi defence was proven false as witnesses testified they saw the accused at Banhoff between 20h00 and 21h00 on January 3, 2012. It was further testified that that between 20h00 and 21h00 on January 3, 2012, the accused was seen entering the room where the deceased’s body was discovered the next day,” stated Ndauendapo
Paulus Ruben, 50, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder read with the Combating of Domestic Violence Act at the start of his trial in August last year.
Ruben allegedly killed his lover of five months, Magritha Beukes, during the night of January 3, 2012 with an unknown object and ran away.
The deceased was discovered the next morning lying dead in her bed.
She died of subarachnoid haemorrhage due to blunt force trauma.
Ruben was arrested nine days later at a farm near Rehoboth where he was working.
He said he was at the farm when the murder was committed.
However, Judge Ndauendapo found having regard to every piece of evidence, the only reasonable inference that can be drawn is that the accused caused the death of the deceased with direct intent.
According to the judge various witnesses testified they saw the accused during the evening of January 3, 2012 at Banhoff and his claim that he left there before 13h00 on that day is clearly false and must be rejected.
Judge Ndauendapo said he agreed with the submissions of State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu that the circumstances of this case are such that when every little piece of evidence is put in its place every other reasonable inference is excluded, leaving only the inference that the deceased was assaulted by the accused resulting in her death.
“He lied about the date and time he left Banhoff. He also lied about the date and time he arrived at farm Naribes where he was offered employment. The shoe prints of the accused were seen leaving the room where the deceased’s body was found moving in a hurry behind the house and jumping over the fence instead of going through the gate. When he saw the police on January 12, 2012 approaching the farm where he was, he ran away and went to hide inside the house behind a wheelbarrow.”
He admitted to Warrant Officer Hochtritt that he had an argument with the victim and ran away when he realised he killed her.
“He pointed out a tree where he wanted to commit suicide and admitted to Hochtritt that he wanted to make a confession to a magistrate. He also told one Godfried that he wanted to go to Tsumeb to get muti so that if he kills somebody he will not be arrested by the police,” Judge Ndauendapo stated, and concluded that from all the above facts, the only reasonable inference is that it is the accused who murdered the deceased.
Hipura Ujaha appears on behalf of the accused on instructions of legal aid.