8 November 2012

Namibia: Magistrate Testifies On Teacher?s ?confession?

RETIRED teacher David de Jay told a magistrate that he wanted to tell the truth before the magistrate recorded an alleged confession by him a month after his arrest over the murder of his wife, it was testified in the High Court in Windhoek yesterday.

De Jay told Keetmanshoop-based Magistrate Philanda Blockstein-Christiaan that he wanted to make a statement to convey what was in his heart, and that he wanted to tell the truth, Magistrate Blockstein-Christiaan told Judge Alfred Siboleka during a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of the alleged confession which De Jay made before her on March 16 2009.

De Jay (61) is accused of murdering his wife, Catharina Cornelia (‘Tina’) de Jay (56), near Keetmanshoop on February 13 2009. He is denying the charge.

The magistrate said she informed De Jay about his right to legal representation, and that his response was that he did not want to have a lawyer present at that stage.

He also told her that a church pastor had encouraged him to tell the truth. She did not regard such encouragement to tell the truth as undue influence, the magistrate added.

“He freely desired to make this statement,” Blockstein-Christiaan said.

She said that, from answers which De Jay gave her before she recorded the statement that he wanted to make, she was satisfied that he had not been threatened or unduly influenced to make the statement.

De Jay is claiming that his alleged confession, as well as a letter which he had written while in police custody about a month earlier, had been preceded by assaults carried out by police officers, and that the pastor had influenced him to make the alleged confession.

The prosecution is alleging that De Jay killed his wife by stabbing her at least six times with a knife.

He is further accused of having tried to evade being held accountable for the killing and having tried to hinder the police’s investigation of the case by throwing away the knife with which Mrs De Jay was stabbed, and by telling the police that she was killed by unknown persons during a robbery or that her death had been the result of an assisted suicide.

De Jay pleaded not guilty to both charges when his trial started in June last year.

In a plea explanation, he claimed he saw two unknown men running away from the car where his wife was sitting before he found her lying in the car with a knife in her chest.

The incident took place at the Fish River, close to Seeheim, south-west of Keetmanshoop.

The trial resumed this week after a break of a year and four months in the proceedings before Judge Siboleka.

De Jay has been in custody since the day of the killing.

He is being represented by defence lawyer Boris Isaacks. State advocate Palmer Kumalo is prosecuting.

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