Arsonist pleads guilty

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-A resident from Dordabis, who poured paraffin over his wife and set her on fire, confirmed his guilt in the Windhoek High Court yesterday before Judge Christi Liebenberg.
Plesie Gowaseb stood in the dock with his head hanging and answered in a very soft voice when he pled guilty to each count State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu levelled against him.

After his state funded lawyer Milton Engelbrecht read a statement prepared on his client’s behalf into the record, the judge convicted Gowaseb on one count of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act and one count of Arson.

The charge sheet stated that Gowaseb intentionally set alight Petrina Goagoses during the period 13 to 14 October 2012, causing her to die from her injuries on 21 October 2012. He also wrongfully, unlawfully and maliciously set the house the deceased lived in on fire.
In his plea explanation Gowaseb admitted that he and the deceased were involved in a domestic relationship and had three children together, and that her cause of death was burning.

He said that on the night in question, he was at Farm Dordabis and went to the deceased’s place to discuss their domestic situation, but the deceased chased him away and accused him of infecting her with Aids. He further said, people who worked with the deceased were present when the deceased chased him away and insulted him.

“I was blinded by anger and made as if I am gone, but after a while I came back when everyone was sleeping. I locked the deceased’s house door from the outside with a padlock before I jumped through the window into her room.

“While I was in the deceased’s room I found a container with paraffin in the room and poured it everywhere in the room and then used matches to set the room alight with the deceased still inside,” he testified.

He went on to say that after the deceased’s room started burning he jumped back outside through the window and she also jumped through the window, covered in flames.
Gowaseb acknowledged that he knew that by pouring paraffin in the room and setting it alight it would cause injuries that could kill the deceased.

“It was my intention to kill the deceased at the time I poured the paraffin in the room and set it alight” he admitted.

Gowaseb, acknowledged that he was consumed by anger and that he failed to control his anger.

“My anger overwhelmed me to such an extent that I committed this horrible, cruel and chilling act. Today I sit with regret and wish I could take back my actions,” he lamented.

He went on to say he regrets robbing the deceased of her life, and their children of their mother in such a cruel and violent manner, as well as robbing his children of a primary caregiver as he will undoubtedly spend an extended period behind bars.

He could only hope and pray that the court accepted that he was truly regretful and sorry for his actions and showed mercy on him, Gowaseb added.

Judge Liebenberg postponed the matter to July 13 and 14 for sentencing proceedings, and remanded Gowaseb in custody.

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