Businesswoman fined N$30 000 for attempted murder

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Simon Endjala

Windhoek – A Windhoek businesswoman who was last month found guilty of attempting to murder her husband in November 2011 has been sentenced to a fine of N$30 000 or direct imprisonment of six years.

Sussane Hoff, 56, the owner of a local advertising agency, was on February 24 found guilty of attempted murder by Regional Court Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt in that she had tried to hire men to murder her husband, Khomas Hochland farmer Egbert Hoff, in November 2011.

On Friday morning Hoff was sentenced to pay a fine of N$30 000 or serve a direct prison term of six years, of which two years of the imposed custodial term were suspended for five years on condition that she is not found guilty on a charge of attempted murder or any other offence related to murder during the period of suspension.

In addition and as part of her sentence Hoff was further ordered by the court to do a total of 300 hours of community service by working with the children at Hope Village Children Centre that is located in Katutura’s Havana informal settlement.

“You had tried to hire killers to murder your husband as a result of your personal circumstances at the time. During the failed attempt to kill your husband, you had completely forgotten the importance of the value of the life of a human being. This is very unfortunate. I am not sending you now directly to prison. But I am giving you a second chance to prove yourself to the society,” said Regional Magistrate Diergaardt, adding that people should not plan violence to solve personal problems.

Initially Hoff was charged with conspiracy to murder her husband, but the court instead convicted her on a count of attempted murder.

In her verdict on February 24, Regional Magistrate Diergaardt said she found Hoff’s version – that she asked two men to pose as horse buyers interested in purchasing a horse from her husband, as she wanted to get proof for her suspicions that he was selling horses belonging to her and pocketing the proceeds – to be false and improbable, and that the probabilities weighed heavier in favour of the State’s version of events.

According to Magistrate Diergaardt, Hoff could not be convicted of conspiracy to commit murder because the supposed hired killers she engaged told the court that they had never actually intended to go through with the murder, but only pretended to agree to carry out the killing while they alerted the police and planned to set a trap for Hoff.

Windhoek defence lawyers Esi Schimming-Chase and Karin Klazen defended Hoff while Public Prosecutor Samantha Diergaardt appeared for the State.

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