Defence lawyer asks for acquittal

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-The defense counsel of the alleged killer of the mother of his eleven-month-old baby told Judge Dinah Usiku there is no direct evidence linking his client to the brutal murder.

State-funded lawyer Milton Engelbrecht of Windhoek based law firm Engelbrecht Attorneys yesterday said the State failed miserably to prove his client, Eben Cloete, 39, was guilty of the murder of Anna Nadia Coetzee with whom he was in a domestic relationship.

The State alleges Cloete broke into the room of the deceased and stabbed her eight times in the back with a knife. According to the State he unlawfully and intentionally broke open the bedroom door of Coetzee at her father’s house at the Neudamm Experimental farm 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 where after he fled the scene.

Cloete is charged with one count of housebreaking with the intent to murder and murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act 4 of 2003.

Engelbrecht told the judge in no uncertain terms the State’s case is based on purely circumstantial evidence that warrants the court to make the finding whether or not the proved facts should be such that they exclude every reasonable inference from them, save for the one to be drawn.

According to him the State witnesses materially contradicted each other and could be seen as lying through their teeth.

He made mention of the father of the deceased who testified that he heard the accused from 50m away muttering “Today you people will see, today you will see.”

According to him the State’s star witness, Patricia Muvarure, is another one who made serious contradictions in her evidence and during cross-examination.

None of the State witnesses could agree on anything they saw or did that day, except for them saying they saw the accused at the house, Engelbrecht said.

He further said his client denies he made any of the admissions allegedly made by him and that he blankly denies being at the residence of the deceased or stabbing her. He asked the court to acquit his client on the charges he faces.
State Advocate Palmer Khumalo told the court the contradictions in the testimonies of the State witnesses are not an issue, “in fact, he said, it is a non-issue.” All of the State witnesses concurred on one thing, he said, and that was that they saw him entering the house of the deceased’s father shortly before she was found dead.
He further argued in this instance all the evidence points directly at Cloete as the person who committed this ghastly deed. According to Khumalo, there is no question about the identity of the accused because he is well known in the community and it was broad daylight.
He said although the State’s case is based on circumstantial evidence, it is substantial and enough for a conviction of murder with direct intent.
The trial was postponed to September 07 for the judgment. Cloete remains in custody.

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