Okombahe murder verdict expected January

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New Era Newspaper Namibia
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Windhoek

A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death at Okombahe in the Erongo Region in October 2012 will hear his fate on January 12 next year, Judge Alfred Siboleka said in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

The Judge said this after hearing extensive submissions from both State counsel, Advocate Jackson Kuutondokwa and defense counsel Milton Engelbrecht.

The accused, Trougoth Nanub (31), pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial in July and, although he did not give any plea explanation to the court, his defense was that did not stab the deceased, Cheroline Dausas, as alleged by the State.

Dausas (25) was killed in a knife attack at Okombahe in the Omaruru district on the evening of 9 October 2012.
The prosecution is alleging that she and Nanub had been involved in a romantic relationship some time prior to her death. It is also alleged that on the evening of the incident, Nanub called Dausas when he found her and her subsequent boyfriend walking to her mother’s house. When she went to Nanub, he started to beat her and when she ran away from him, he pursued her and stabbed her with a knife, the prosecution is charging.

During the trial, it came to light that the deceased indentified her attacker as “Striker”, a nickname the accused was known by. In his submissions, Kuutondokwa reminded Judge Siboleka that Nanub never denied that he was known by the name “Striker”.

He asked the court to convict Nanub of murder with direct intent. He said the State proved through direct and circumstantial evidence that Nanub was the person who inflicted three deep, penetrating stab wounds to the chest area of the deceased. According to him, the evidence of the State witnesses was credible and the accused’s version of a blanket denial is in stark contrast to the testimonies of the State witnesses.

“It is respectfully submitted that the State’s case stand as a complete and accepted edifice and it is prayed that the Court should analyse the defense case with a view to discern whether the accused’s version of complete denial and/or alibi could nevertheless be said to be reasonably possibly true or not,” Kuutondokwa said.

On his part, Engelbrecht argued that it was not established that Nanub was positively identified as the attacker by the deceased. According to him, the deceased, when she was taken to the clinic, only said “I was attacked by a man”.

According to him, the follow-up questions by the nurses as to the identity of the man were leading and cannot be admitted. The nurses, who testified, told the court that they asked the deceased who the man is and she replied my ex-boyfriend “Striker”.

The Judge, however, did not agree with Engelbrecht that the questions were leading and said to him it seemed “clarifying”.

He further said that the case for the State and the defense rests on the evidence of single witnesses. In the case of the State, the only evidence is that of Lazarus Nangombe, who took the deceased to the clinic and claims to have witnessed the stabbing. According to Engelbrecht, the evidence of a single witness must be treated with caution and must be of such a nature that it should be credible and constitute proof of the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt.

He further said where the evidence of a single witness for the State and for the defense differs radically, a determination can rarely, if ever, be made without considering whether such evidence is consistent with the probabilities of the matter at hand.

According to Engelbrecht, in the present instance, the probabilities do not support the State’s case and he submitted that the State failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and asked the Court to dismiss all charges against his client.

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