Keetmanshoop — A 21-year-old girl at Aussenkehr set her boyfriend's room on fire, causing his death in the ensuing inferno on Sunday last week.
The suspect Chris Bianca Engebrecht was arraigned on the same day by the police at Aussenkehr for murder, reckless endangerment, defeating the course of justice, criminal mischief and a count of arson. The deceased was identified as Isaak Jossop. He sustained 100 percent burns on his body. Firemen who responded to an emergency call between 19h00 and 20h00 found the charred remains of Jossop's body. The two lovers were employed at the same farm.
According to Karas Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Armas Shivute, Engebrecht confessed to the police before she was taken into custody. Shivute said the suspect allegedly confessed that her boyfriend threatened to end their relationship. She appeared in the Karasburg Magistrate's Court.
A neighbour, speaking on condition of anonymity, told police that Engebrecht asked for matches after returning home from a drinking spree at a nearby shebeen. The two lovers were always fighting and quarrelling it has emerged.
Meanwhile, police in the Bethanie district have recovered seven sheep, as well as a carcass on January 30 in a riverbed and at the residence of a certain Karel Brinkman who has since been arrested together with four accomplices. The recovered livestock is estimated to have a market value of N$9 000. The police alleged the suspects chased the sheep from the farm Simplon on foot to another farm where they used a brown Land Cruiser to transport the livestock to Bethanie. The police first recovered two sheep and a carcass and after further investigation found the rest of the sheep on a van with a South African registration number in Bethanie. The suspects, who have since appeared in court, have been identified as Willem van Gent (38), Herman Jaars (24), Haness Windstaan (49), Karel Brinkman (50) and Petrus Frederick (25).
Shivute warned livestock owners to be on their guard against livestock thieves and to beef up security through private security companies to prevent loss of property. "While the police are supposed to visit farms regularly to ensure the safety and security of citizens, it is also the responsibility of farm owners to strengthen their security. We cannot always guarantee safety on the farms," he stressed.
Police are also probing the death of a man who is believed to have drowned in the Fish River in Gibeon last Sunday. The man, Cornelius Jossop, is believed to be in his 30s. Police divers from Windhoek retrieved his body from the river on Sunday afternoon.
Shivute said violent crime involving stabbing is on the increase in the south and promised that the Women and Men Network against Crime would soon be introduced at Keetmanshoop to assist the police in combating crime.
"Due to strict gun control laws in Namibia and random searching for weapons, knives are usually the weapons of choice in violent crimes in this region, especially during month-end," he said. "There is still the belief, among some groups of people, especially the young that carrying a knife is acceptable. We need to stop this immediately and that requires a united effort."