Windhoek-An Otjiwarongo resident charged with counts of murder, rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and obstructing or defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice denied guilt on all charges yesterday in the Windhoek High Court.
Ivan Hoëbeb is charged with killing Elizabeth Ganses, who was 26 at the time of her demise, during October 30 to 31, 2015 after he raped her, stole her cellphone and SIM card, and then set her body alight.
Milton Engelbrecht, the State-funded legal of representative of Hoëbeb, informed Judge Christi Liebenberg that the plea is in accordance with his instructions and that they put the State to prove each and every allegation against the accused.
He further said they will not disclose the basis of their defence, but that it will become apparent during cross-examination, and it did.
During the cross-examination of the police officer that arrested Hoëbeb, it was put to the officer, Chief Inspector Roy Thomas Makwatikizo, that Hoëbeb does not dispute he was with the deceased on that fateful night, but that the death of the deceased came about as a result of an accident.
The counsel said Hoëbeb and the deceased were together and even had consensual intercourse that night. However, Engelbrecht told the witness that after the love act the deceased wanted to go and drink further, and when Hoëbeb refused she attacked him.
According to Engelbrecht, when the deceased attacked the accused he defended himself and in the process grabbed her around the neck, but then fell down, hit the back of his head and lost consciousness. When he woke up, he still had his hands around her neck and when he realised she was not breathing, he panicked and ran away.
He denied raping the deceased, robbing her or setting the body of the deceased on fire, Engelbrecht told the witness.
The partly naked body of the deceased was found between Otjiwarongo Military Base and Orwetoveni township.
Hoëbeb further claimed that whenever a crime is committed in Otjiwarongo town and the surrounding areas, he is always first on the police radar. However, Otjozondjupa regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Moses Kairabeb, had told the media upon Hoëbeb’s arrest that he is a hardcore criminal, who was out on bail on various charges including rape. He said that Hoëbeb worked for a construction company and travels from town to town. At the time Kairabeb said: ‘We found the deceased’s phone on him. He had bite and scratch marks all over his body.’
According to the indictment, the deceased was walking along a footpath in the vicinity of the army base when Hoëbeb attacked her from behind, stabbed her, removed some of her clothes and violated her. He then allegedly strangled her with either his bare hands or with the deceased’s trousers, tights or belt and then set her body alight to destroy evidence.