Alleged killer has case to answer

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Roland Routh

WINDHOEK – The man who allegedly beat to death Cathy Marlene Gatonye during an altercation in Khomasdal will have to answer to the charges against him after Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka dismissed his application to be discharged for perceived lack of evidence.
According to Judge Siboleka there is a prima facie case against Elwen Ganaxab, which he is legally obliged to answer to.

The lawyer of Ganaxab argued during the application that the State failed miserably to prove its case against Ganaxab.

According to Mbanga Siyomunji, none of the witnesses implicated his client in the assault of Gatonye, and the DNA evidence was non-existent. According to Siyomunji, the only thing that was proven by the State was that he was in the company of the deceased and her friends on that fateful night.
On the other hand, State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi argued there was direct, circumstantial as well as similar facts evidence sufficiently pointing towards the accused alone as the male person who was together with the four females, including the deceased.

He further said the evidence clearly shows that the accused was the one who assaulted one of the ladies by the name of Mungunda, and that it was indeed he who assaulted the deceased to such an extent that she died from her injuries.

According to Judge Siboleka the evidence produced so far at the trial establishes a prima facie case, which by law “requires the accused to be placed on his two feet and furnish answers to the allegations about what further transpired at the scene of the crime”.

The case will resume today at 14h15 for the defence to present their case.
Ganaxab is accused of killing Gatonye and attempting to kill Thalitha Patricia Khai-Gu Mungunda during August 18 to 21, 2015 in Khomasdal.

He already pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder in July last year whereafter Judge Siboleka granted him a postponement of almost a year as he needed time to get money together for his defence. He opted to use the services of lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji on a private basis.

According to the charge sheet, the accused met the deceased and her friend at a bar during the late night hours of Tuesday, August 18 and the early hours of Wednesday, August 19, 2015. They later left the bar and drove to a service station in Khomasdal.

After refueling the vehicle, the accused withdrew money from a nearby ATM and the group continued their journey. Along the way an argument and later a physical fight ensued between the accused and the deceased and Mungunda, and the vehicle was brought to a standstill.

After Mungunda managed to escape, the indictment read, he assaulted the deceased by grabbing on her hair/braids, hitting her with his fists and or stone on her body and head, kicking her all over her body and head, and/or stabbing her with a broken glass bottle.

The deceased died on August 21, 2015 in hospital due to blunt force trauma to the head. Ganaxab is in custody on a separate case.

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