Windhoek-An elderly man who sought to have his 55-year sentence for two murders and one attempted murder conviction reduced on appeal came to a sobering reality when High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka found he has no prospects of success on appeal.
Judge Siboleka sentenced Eliakim Nampindi, 67, on July 21 last year to 20 years on a charge of murder, 35 years on a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act and eight years on a charge of attempted murder.
He was convicted of the murders of Paul Fredericks, 46, at Hoachanas in the Mariental District on March 5, 2009 and his life partner, Anetta Jantjies, during the period of August 3 to 4, 2011 at Kalkrand, as well as for attempting to kill Salmon Rooinasie by stabbing him with a knife or sharp object in his back.
Nampindi acted on his own behalf during the appeal as legal aid declined his application for legal representation ‘because he had no prospect of success’.
He claimed in his grounds of appeal that the judge failed to strike a balance between the seriousness of the offences and society’s interest to demand that the courts impose harsh sentences upon perpetrators making themselves guilty of serious offences, and that the judge failed to take into account the cumulative effect of the sentences.
On this, Judge Siboleka said that a balance was struck between the seriousness of the offences Nampindi was convicted on and the interests of society – hence the concurrent running order of the sentences and the cumulative effect was taken care of as well.
With regard to his claims that the judge ignored the fact that Nampindi was already 66 years old when he sentenced him and erred by not imposing a life sentence on all counts, as well as imposing a sentence which is bound to break Nampindi as the sentence is so shockingly severe that it leaves him with no hope, the judge said the court is not bound to impose a life sentence on a murder convictee.
“Each case is considered on its own merits,” Judge Siboleka said and continued: “The extent of brutality in which these crimes were committed; the fact that the applicant was already on bail pending his trial and was fifty-two years old when he committed the first murder; he was sixty-four years old when he committed the second murder – all these factors did not allow the imposition of life imprisonment. The sentence that was imposed by this court was not aimed to break the applicant and neither is it shocking. The seriousness of the crime, the revulsion in which society views the non-abating scourge of murders on defenceless women, all found expression in it.”
The judge went on to say that despite the seriousness, and non-abating domestic violence against the vulnerable women in our society; the short space of time between the first and second murders; the fact that Nampindi was on bail at the time he committed the second murder; and the brutality he wielded in the execution of these crime, the court still ordered the concurrent running of sentences imposed in the first and third counts respectively, in order to mitigate the cumulative effect thereof. He concluded that he holds the view that Nampindi was appropriately sentenced and has no prospects of success on appeal.
Nampindi was represented by Mbanga Siyomunji on instructions from legal aid during the trial, while state advocate Ethel Ndlovu appeared during both the trial and appeal.