BUSINESSMAN Lazarus Shaduka is guilty of murdering his wife in their home in Windhoek in July 2008, and must serve a prison sentence of 20 years for that crime, the Supreme Court ruled this morning (December 13).
In a stunning reversal of fortune for Shaduka (39), the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a State appeal against his acquittal on a charge of murder. The Supreme Court set aside the High Court's conviction of Shaduka on a count of culpable homicide, and also set aside the sentence – a fine of N$25 000 or one year's imprisonment – he had received on that conviction on August 30 2010, replacing it with a sentence of 20 years' imprisonment.
Shaduka went through a high-profile trial before Judge Kato van Niekerk in the High Court in Windhoek in June and August 2010. He was tried on counts of murder and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or attempting to do so, in connection with the shooting death of his wife, Selma Shaimemanya (33), in the couple's home in Klein Windhoek on July 13 2008.
Shaimemanya died after she had been struck by a bullet fired from Shaduka's 9 mm pistol.
Shaduka later claimed the shot had gone off accidentally when she fell against the cocked gun while he was trying to make it safe.
Shaduka had told a series of lies after the shooting in an attempt to exculpate himself and blame others, Judge of Appeal Sylvester Mainga stated in the appeal judgement. He found that Shaduka had a direct intention to kill Shaimemanya when he pressed his pistol against her upper back and pulled the trigger.
The evidence placed before the trial court did not suggest that Shaduka had planned the murder beforehand, Judge Mainga said. It appears that he had killed his wife on the spur of the moment, the judge also said.