MARIENTAL shebeen and shop owner Salmon Nakale, who has been convicted of murdering his girlfriend and her sister in May 2009, was sent to prison for an effective 50 years yesterday.
Judge Alfred Siboleka sentenced Nakale in the High Court in Windhoek.
Nakale was found guilty of killing two defenceless women inside their own home, where they should have been safe from all forms of harm, Judge Siboleka said during the sentencing.
The two women – Nakale’s girlfriend, Rebecca Katanga (23), and her sister, Lusia Ndahambelela Erastus (30) – were robbed of their lives, which is a fundamental right enshrined in Namibia’s Constitution, the judge said. With their deaths, their children were robbed of having mothers who could love and support them as they grow up, he also told Nakale.
Katanga was the mother of two children, the court heard. Nakale is the father of both children, who are now being cared for by Katanga’s mother and her husband.
Erastus was the mother of four children, the court also heard. Her children are now also under the care of her mother.
During his trial, Nakale (34) denied that he had shot and killed Katanga and Erastus at Mariental on May 9 2009. He claimed Katanga had caused the fatal shots to go off when she was wrestling with him in an attempt to get hold of his 9mm pistol.
That claim was rejected by the judge when he convicted Nakale on two counts of murder.
Nakale also claimed he and Katanga had an argument because she was accusing him of also having a relationship with another woman.
On the day of the incident Nakale came to the house of Katanga and Erastus with a loaded pistol, which was ready to fire, the judge recounted the events yesterday.
Within three to four minutes after he had been seen entering their house, gunshots were heard going off, followed by a woman’s voice which witnesses described as pleading with Nakale to stop.
The pleading did not help, because more shooting was heard.
After that, Nakale was seen emerging from the house, followed by Erastus, who was covered in blood and crying for help.
Nakale just looked at her, tucked his pistol into his belt, walked to his car and drove off, the judge recounted the evidence.
Erastus collapsed to the ground, and later died in hospital. Katanga was found dead in her bedroom. Both women died from gunshot injuries.
Although Nakale said he regretted what had happened, his regret is outweighed by the wrong he has done, Judge Siboleka told him.
He sentenced Nakale to 30 years imprisonment for the murder of Katanga, and a 20-year prison term for the murder of Erastus, and ordered that these sentences should be served consecutively.
The judge also declared that Nakale would be unfit to possess a firearm for five years – which will take effect only after he has served his period of imprisonment.
Deputy Prosecutor General Antonia Verhoef conducted the prosecution. Defence lawyer Titus Ipumbu represented Nakale.