30 November 2012

Namibia: More Witness Lies in Well Murder Trial

Windhoek — More lies emerged during the murder trial in which Raynoldt (Jackie) Windstaan and Johannes Eichab are accused of killing 42-year-old Klaas 'Buruxab' Titus and 39-year-old John 'Jerry' McNab in 2005 in the Mariental District.

The remains of both deceased were dumped inside a disused well on a farm near Kalkrand. Another state witness, Pieter Kandetu admitted during his three days under cross-examination that he repeatedly made false statements to the police.

During cross-examination by Titus Mbaeva who is representing Windstaan, Kandetu repeatedly said: "I lied, I lied," when questioned on the validity of several statements he made. However, as with the witness, Albertina Swartbooi, he was adamant that his latest testimony in which he fingers the accused as the murderers, is in fact the truth.

Kandetu, who was 16 years old at the time of the murders, told the court that he was present when the killings happened. His testimony however differs slightly from that of Swartbooi. He said that he was in the yard of Boeta Madjiedt at Farm Omamas and that Swartbooi was in the kitchen, while Swartbooi said that she was in fact sitting with one of the deceased Klaas ' Buruxab' Titus when he was killed.

Another discrepancy in their testimonies is the number of times 'Buruxab' was hit with the tyre lever. Kandetu claims that 'Buruxab' was struck twice, once on the side of the jaw splitting it open and once on the top of his head, while Swartbooi claims he was hit only once on the top of his skull, killing him instantly.

Both testimonies more or less corroborate each other, although both of them admitted to lying frequently to the court.

Windstaan and Eichab face charges of murder and defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat the course of justice.

Both men pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of their trial.

Windstaan is represented by Titus Mbaeva, while Eichab obtained the services of Advocate Winnie Christiaans, both on the ticket of the Directorate of Legal Aid. Judge Naomi Shivute is on the bench, while Deputy Prosecutor General Erich Moyo is prosecuting. Both men remain in custody.

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