Windhoek-The defence lawyer for Rodney Danne Shaningwa has asked the court to show mercy on Shaningwa and to emphasise on the reformative aspect of punishment rather than the retributive aspect.
Defence lawyer, Slysken Makando, yesterday said Shaningwa extended a hand of compassion towards the family of Ronni Marco Kristian Uolevi when he offered to pay for the tertiary studies of Uolevi’s children if the court does not send him to jail for an extended period.
Shaningwa, 46, was convicted of murder with intent and attempting to defeat the course of justice on Tuesday for killing Uolevi, 42, at around 00h30 on the night of 8 and 9 August 2015 and then hiding his car from the police for three days.
Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg after hearing arguments on the sentence from Deputy Prosecutor General, Karin Esterhuizen, and Makando reserved his judgment on the sentence to be imposed on Shaningwa. The judgment on the sentencing to be imposed on Shaningwa would be ready by 31 August.
Makando said Shaningwa has showed genuine remorse even to the extent that he shed tears during his testimony, which in his mind is a genuine show of remorse.
“My Lord, the accused did not hide for a moment. He acknowledged that the death of the deceased ensued from his hand. He knows that he is responsible for a life lost. A loss that affects the wife and three minor children of the deceased,” pleaded Makando yesterday.
Makando told the court that Shaningwa recognises that he not only wronged the family of Uolevi, but his family as well and that he is truly sorry for what he has done.
Makando emphasised that Shaningwa strongly believed that he was acting in self-defence when he fired those shots.
“What the accused is guilty of is conscious recklessness and had no direct intention to murder,” Makando said and implored the court not to impose a sentence that will destroy the accused and cause his six children to suffer.
He asked that the sentences to be imposed run concurrently.
Esterhuizen strongly argued that Shaningwa did not show any genuine remorse, as he only professed his so-called remorse after conviction.
She asked the court to keep in mind that a life was lost needlessly.
“The family of the deceased was deprived of the companionship, love and care of the deceased and three minor children must now face the world without the protection of their father,” Esterhuizen stated.
According to Esterhuizen, it is unthinkable that someone could be consumed with such rage so as to act in such a barbaric manner.
She asked the court not to attach too much weight on the accused’s promises to help with study fees of the children of the deceased.
According to her, it is just a ploy to garner sympathy from the court.
Even though the court did not find the accused guilty of murder with direct intent, Esterhuizen said, murder is murder and is a serious offence and the court would be failing in its duty and would send out a wrong message if it imposes a lenient sentence.
The courts are duty bound to send out a strong message that such behaviour will not be tolerated, Esterhuizen stated.
She asked the court to declare Shaningwa unfit to carry a firearm for at least five years after serving his sentence and further asked that the pistol used in the shooting be declared forfeited to the State.