19 February 2013

Namibia: Murder Suspect Awaits Sentence

Keetmanshoop — A former teacher of former J.A. Nel Secondary School and his accomplice accused of the "horrific, brutal" murder of 38-year-old Hendrik Witbooi, briefly appeared in the magistrate's court last week Friday.

Willem Frederick Jahrs (37) and his co-accused Lucky Eiman (28) allegedly beat and stabbed Witbooi on April 13, 2008 in what Regional Magistrate Sunsley Zisengwe has described as the "deliberate and senseless" killing of a person.

The attack happened behind PK de Villiers Secondary School in the area between the railway line and the B1 road in Keetmanshoop.

At the continuation of the trial last Friday, the court heard that Jahrs, Eiman and another friend had been walking from the Noordhoek residential area to the Kronlein residential area in the late hours of the evening when they came across the victim.

It was then that the unknown man (Witbooi) walked by and allegedly swore at Jahrs, who had been urinating some distance from where they were waiting. A heated argument between the two started which resulted in an exchange of insults between Jahrs and Wibooi. Both the victim and perpetrators were under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Jahrs and Eiman attacked Witbooi and beat and stabbed him until he succumbed to his injuries. The next morning, Witbooi was found lying on his back at the spot where the two said they left the unconscious man. Court records show that Witbooi's body had eight stab wounds and bruises, which were suspected to have caused his death.

After considering all the evidence in a case during previous court appearances, Zisengwe in a lengthy statement said there was overwhelming evidence to support a guilty verdict. He said there was a common purpose to commit the murder. "The murder was intentional and was a foreseeable outcome on their part of achieving that goal."

The case was postponed to March 28 for sentencing and the accused remain in custody.

Eiman is represented by Stephanus Coetzee, while Jahrs conducted his own defence.

Prosecutor Veiko Alexander represented the State, while Magistrate Zisengwe presided.

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