Windhoek – Two men found guilty in November 2016 of killing two farmworkers in the Schlip area of the Hardap Region in July 2005, will be sentenced in the High Court here on Friday next week.
High Court Judge Naomi Shivute, who presided over the double murder trial, said yesterday that she would hand down the sentences at about 10h00 on March 24, shortly after hearing the final submissions of evidence before sentencing presented by the two convicted men’s State-sponsored defence lawyer, Joshua Kaumbi, and Senior State Advocate Erick Moyo.
The two convicted men, Raynoldt ‘Jackie’ Windstaan, 33, and Johannes Eixab, 35, were both found guilty on November 30, 2016 of assaulting and murdering 42-year-old Klaas Titus and John McNab, 39.
The incident occurred at Farm Good Hope near Rehoboth in the Hardap Region between July 16 and 18, 2005. The two convicted men then threw the remains of their two victims into an unused well, about 20 metres deep, on another farm in the Kalkrand District.
Titus and McNab’s skeletal remains were only found on July 30, 2009.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Kaumbi pleaded with the court not to impose long prison terms that would make it difficult for his clients’ chance of rehabilitation. He said the appropriate punishment would be a direct prison sentence of 20 years on each of the two counts of murder and asked the court that some years of the imposed sentences be ordered to run concurrently.
Senior State Advocate Moyo in turn asked the court to impose a lengthy direct prison term of 35 years in respect of each of the two murder counts.
The police arrested Windstaan in August 2009, while Eixab was nabbed in August 2010 after evidence surfaced that he was with Windstaan when the two farmworkers disappeared. The two victims were apparently killed because they had information about stock theft in the area at the time, the court heard.
The two men were each found guilty on two counts of murder on November 30, 2016 after prima facie evidence presented by the State during the trial showed that Windstaan and Eixab were indeed the persons who had assaulted and killed Titus and McNab.
They were thus found guilty of double murder with the intention to kill. The duo also hugely contributed to their conviction when they confessed and made self-incriminating statements to the police, which were later admitted as evidence of confessions to be used against them during trial.
Windstaan and Eixab also voluntarily took the police investigating team to the farm and pointed out the exact well in which they threw the bodies, and this further contributed immensely to the strength of the prosecution’s case and their conviction. The two victims were still alive when their bodies were thrown into the well.
State witness Wilma Majiedt testified during trial that on several occasions when Windstaan was under the influence of alcohol after the disappearance of Titus and McNab, he had told her he had killed the two men, and warned her to remain quiet about what he had said.
Both Windstaan and Eixab pleaded not guilty to the two counts of murder.