Neudamm murder accused denies guilt

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-Eben Cloete, 38, a former employee at the Neudamm Experimental Farm near Windhoek yesterday categorically denied he broke into the house of his lover and mother of his child and killed her.

“Not guilty,” was the answer Cloete gave Judge Dinah Usiku after State Advocate Palmer Khumalo read the charge of housebreaking with the intent to murder and murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4 of 2003.

The State alleges Cloete unlawfully and intentionally broke open the bedroom door of Anna Nadia Coetzee with the intent to murder her and then intentionally killed Coetzee on Thursday, August 13, 2009 by stabbing her at least eight times with a sharp object in her chest whereafter he fled the scene.

His State-funded lawyer Milton Engelbrecht confirmed the plea and informed the court they will make use of their right to remain silent and will not disclose the basis of their plea.

The father of the deceased told the court how he came upon the lifeless body of his daughter after being called from his place of work.

August Groenewaldt said that on that fateful day he saw the accused early in the morning outside his residence and that he heard the accused say, ‘Today you people will see,’ before entering the kitchen with a knife which he cleaned at the kitchen sink while requesting his personal documents from the deceased.

After he was handed his documents Cloete left the house murmuring something he could not hear, Groenewaldt told the court, and continued that he then went back to work.

According to the bereaved father, he continuously tried to contact the police that morning, as he feared something might happen, but to no avail.

“At around 11h00, Martha Afrikaner came running from the direction of my house screaming ‘your daughter has been stabbed’. I then again tried the police and got a reply,” he told the court. According to him he then went to his house where he found a bloody knife and the documents of the accused on the stoep and covered them with a bucket.

“I then entered the house and saw the deceased lying there on her stomach in a pool of blood.”

However, the accused’s defence counsel Engelbrecht was quick to point out to Groenewaldt during cross-examination that no evidence exists about documents of the accused being found at the scene.

According to him nowhere in the photographs the police took are any documents depicted. He further had Groenewaldt admitting that the knife he saw with Cloete that morning and the knife found on the scene were not the same.

Patricia Muvarure also testified yesterday and mostly confirmed what Groenewaldt told the court. According to her she was with the deceased that morning and when the accused returned a while after he first left, the deceased ran into the house and locked herself in her bedroom.

She also told the court that she ran after the deceased and locked herself in the toilet when she realised the deceased had locked the bedroom.

“After about five to six minutes I did not hear anything and unlocked the door only to find the accused standing in front of the bedroom door,” Muvarure said and continued that Cloete told her to tell the deceased that he had left.

When she refused, he told her if she did not want to do as he said she should leave the house which is exactly what she did as she was afraid of the accused, Muvarure testified.
The case continues today and Cloete remains in custody.

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