New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Murder Accused Attempted Suicide

Windhoek — Double murder suspect Raynoldt 'Jacky' Windstaan tried to take his own life in September 2010.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by Sergeant Collin Kazongominja, the fourth State witness to testify in the trial in the Windhoek High Court, in which Windstaan is one of the two accused. Windstaan and his co-accused, Johannes Eichab, stand accused of killing Klaas 'Buruxhab' Titus and John 'Jerry' McNab and dumping their bodies into a disused well at a farm near Kalkrand.

The State alleges both accused murdered the deceased during the period of July 16 to 18 2005 in the Mariental District. It is further alleged that they then dumped the bodies of the deceased, Klaas 'Buruxhab' Titus and John 'Jerry' McNab into a disused well on farm near Kalkrand. Both men pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of their trial.

Kazongominja testified that he was summoned to Mariental in July 2009 by the late Inspector Groenewaldt, who told him there was someone who wanted to explain something to him. He related that when he arrived at Groenewaldt's office he encountered Windstaan, who told him that he wanted to get something off his chest.

Windstaan at that stage wanted to share information only with him, but he insisted that Groenewaldt be present. He further testified that when Groenewaldt returned, Windstaan told the two of them that he and another person whose name the officer could not recall had planned to kill two persons.

Kazongominja said Windstaan told them they planned to make them drunk, load them onto a vehicle, drive to Farm Good Hope and then kill them. Windstaan related to them how they arrived at a disused well at the farm and that he (Windstaan) then hit one of the men on the head with a piece of iron.

Kazongominja further testified that Windstaan then told them that after he hit the man, he (the man) started to fall into the well and while grabbing hold of the other men dragged one of them in as well.

According to the witness, Windstaan told him that he and the second man then left the men in the well and drove home.

Kazongominja further related that in September 2010 he was tasked to escort Windstaan who appeared on a charge of stock theft from Hardap Prison to Mariental. He said that he noticed that Windstaan had a small bag with him, but that he did not search the bag.

He told the court that after his hearing Windstaan asked to speak to his mother and he gave instructions that this must happen in the presence of the police. He went somewhere and left Windstaan in the presence of another police officer. However, when he returned he was told that Windstaan was lying on the floor.

He told Judge Naomi Shivute that he (Kazongominja) found Windstaan foaming from the mouth and concluded that he poisoned himself. It turned out later that he poisoned himself with an industrial detergent, which he had in his bag. He further related to the court that inside the bag he also found a suicide note addressed to Windstaan's mother.

"Sorry mamma, I cannot hold it out any longer. Please look after my child in Tumis with Antonet Smith, and look after my other children as well. Please ask them to forgive me, as well as their mothers and my family, you must forgive me, I can't take it anymore.

Pray for me a lot and the people - leave uncle Boeta and aunt Wilma, they have nothing to do with the case, I myself are (sic) not guilty, it is just too long for me to sit in jail. I wanted to come out, but could not get bail, maybe I would not have done it, but I see everyone is against me on the farm. I am going with a disturbed heart, I hope you will forgive me since I took the easy way out.

I cannot just sit here in jail thinking about what you are doing, thinking what are my children doing, just sitting and thinking till I will become mad, now before it reaches that stage I'll go there where I'll have no more worries. I am very sorry for my children, I'd love to work for them and to see them grow up, but until when will I have to wait for the court to finish, I am like a foreigner without bail, I just can't take it. Good-bye mom, I still wanted to see the children, but it's okay, greetings to everyone who knows me. Jacky."

Windstaan put in a footnote that read "let those two men stand up and defend themselves, me who was with them did not even know that one of them was with those ideas. I will go in the place of the innocent".

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