Outjo man denies killing child

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-The man who allegedly killed the child of his girlfriend and then killed the woman after he was released on bail denied in the High Court yesterday that he had murdered the six-year-old boy.

During submissions on the verdict to be delivered, the new State-funded lawyer of self-confessed murderer Sageus Somaeb told Judge Naomi Shivute that his client still denies he had a hand in the death of Remember Gaingob during the period May 15 to 16, 2013 in Outjo.

Somaeb already pleaded guilty to killing the mother of the boy, Charlotte Gaingos, with whom he was in an intimate relationship, by stabbing her 21 times with a knife on July 31, 2013 with the intent to kill her and was convicted on that score.

But according to Johan van Vuuren, his client denies killing the boy. He said yesterday the State had failed to prove any of the disputed allegations against his client.

In addition to the murder charges, Somaeb also faces assault charges related to an incident when he allegedly hit the little boy over his body with a piece of wire on May 29, 2009, as well as when he allegedly threw a stone at Gaingos, in the process fracturing one of her ribs during 2013.

He faces a further charge of defeating the course of justice for allegedly disposing of pieces of carpet with blood on it and tampering or cleaning up the scene where the boy was killed and reporting to the police that the child had died suddenly after complaining of a headache.

State Advocate Simba Nduna told the judge that even though his case hinged on circumstantial evidence, enough was adduced to prove that Somaeb was the person that killed the boy and destroyed the evidence of the crime.
He said it was not in issue that it was only the boy, Somaeb’s own daughter and Somaeb that were at the house when the boy died. According to Nduna, the totality of the circumstantial evidence points in the direction of Somaeb as the person who killed the child.

He further argued that evidence was also adduced to prove Somaeb assaulted the boy as charged, as he admitted that he “mildly” chastised the boy for being naughty, but testimonies was heard that the boy was severely assaulted, to the extent that he could not walk properly.

According to evidence presented, the boy was taken to the police station after he was beaten by Somaeb, but the officer on duty only warned Somaeb not to repeat the assaults. Nduna hammered the police officer, who merely warned Somaeb not to assault the boy for being “ignorant and grossly irresponsible”.

With regard to the assault on Gaingos, he said two witnesses placed Somaeb at the scene and one of them informed the court that he saw Somaeb throwing something at Gaingos, although he did not see where the projectile hit her.
However, Nduna said, it was clear from the testimony of State witnesses that Gaingos had to seek medical treatment, as was confirmed by evidence place before court.

With regard to the defeating the course of justice charge, Nduna emphasised that the only person who had reason to cut out parts of the carpet and clean up the blood was the accused, who wanted to get rid of incriminating evidence.

He asked the court to convict Somaeb on all charges. The trial was then postponed to November 15 for judgment. Somaeb remains in custody.

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