Windhoek-Magistrate Elina Nandago of the Windhoek Regional Court yesterday convicted Simon Tjooya, the man accused of killing Issy Swartz over a bottle of brandy.
Tjooya, 29, was convicted on a charge of murder with direct intent for intentionally stabbing and killing Swartz on November 3, 2012.
Handing down the verdict, Magistrate Nandago dismissed Tjooya’s version, saying that an eyewitness saw Tjooya committing the offence.
Swartz died from a stab wound to the chest in Windhoek’s informal settlement of Goreangab. “Was it really necessary to take the life of a person because of alcohol? […] I do not think what the accused did was correct,” said Nandago.
During the trial, the witnesses who took the stand indicated that there was a squabble over a bottle of Richelieu brandy. It is alleged that Tjooya and his companion ran after Swartz who took off with the bottle into a shack.
His companion who took the stand in court said Tjooya came from the shack with a knife covered in blood in one hand and a bottle of Richelieu in the other.
Detective Henry Ndakolute, a primary eyewitness, said that on that fateful day he saw Tjooya stabbing Swartz.
Ndakolute testified he saw Tjooya stabbing Swartz in the chest and then taking the bottle of Richelieu from him.
One of the witnesses said they were at a bar on that day when the deceased approached them with a N$50 asking if they could contribute towards the purchase of the Richelieu brandy.
They all contributed but the deceased reportedly left with the bottle of brandy after the purchase.
Tjooya denied guilt throughout the trial – that he did not kill Swartz. Tjooya did not dispute that he took the bottle of Richelieu from Swartz on that day.
In his defence, he said he took the alcohol from the deceased because they had contributed money for the purchase of the bottle, adding that he only learned about Swartz’s death from his mother.
Tjooya reported himself to the Wanaheda Police Station. He informed the police that he had taken the bottle of brandy from the deceased but did not stab him.
He claimed he only took the bottle of brandy from the deceased because they had contributed money for the purchase of the alcohol. Tjooya claimed he was later informed the man from whom he took the bottle of brandy was dead.
“Without an answer from the accused to tell the court of who stabbed the deceased, the court is convinced by the state that it was the accused who stabbed the deceased,” noted Nandago.