15 November 2012

Namibia: Farmworker Jailed for 12 Years for Killing Partner

A FORMER farmworker who killed his girlfriend in the Windhoek district five years ago heard this week that the crime will cost him twelve years in prison.

Christiaan Khagab has already spent the past five years in jail awaiting the finalisation of his trial. That happened in the Windhoek Regional Court on Monday, when Magistrate Sarel Jacobs sentenced Khagab to twelve years’ imprisonment.

Five years of that prison term were suspended for a period of five years, on condition that Khagab is not convicted of murder, attempted murder or assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm committed during the period of suspension.

Khagab (41) was convicted of murder, committed without a direct intention to kill, in August.

He was accused of killing his girlfriend, Maria Gawanas (20), at farm Kaandam in the Windhoek district on November 10 2007.

Gawanas died as a result of head injuries after she had been assaulted by Khagab.

During the assault, he kicked her on various parts of her body, including her head.

The assault took place after Khagab had seen Gawanas, who was in a relationship with him and was the mother of two of his four children, in the company of another man, the magistrate recounted the evidence before him during the sentencing.

When Khagab confronted her about the other man he had seen her with, she told him that she could use her private parts in the way she wanted to, the court heard.

Khagab then launched the assault on her.

Magistrate Jacobs told Khagab that he was accepting that anger and provocation had played a major part in the crime he committed.

He added that he was also taking into account that Khagab had brutally kicked Gawanas against her head. With the violence that Khagab resorted to he had shown no respect for human life, the magistrate said.

Khagab never received a formal education, is a first-time offender, and has told the court that he felt remorse over what he had done, the magistrate also noted.

He said in his view a sentence of twelve years’ imprisonment would have been an appropriate sentence for Khagab. Since Khagab has been in custody for the past five years, he has decided to suspend five years of his sentence, the magistrate said.

Defence lawyer Titus Ipumbu represented Khagab. Cliff Lutibezi prosecuted.

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