20 August 2018

Namibia: Journal Reveals Killer Mom's Burning Rage

Zenobia Seas was driven by anger and a hunger for revenge when she killed her almost three-year-old daughter north of Henties Bay almost two years ago.

This was one of the remarks made by judge Christie Liebenberg before he sentenced Seas (34) to an effective prison term of 25 years on Friday.

Seas' actions on 26 September 2016, when she murdered the youngest of her two daughters, Ava Antoinette Owoses, "were calculated, brutal and inhuman", judge Liebenberg commented during Seas' sentencing in the Windhoek High Court.

The one central theme in her explanation for the taking of Ava's life was that her actions were aimed at taking revenge on Ava's father and his partner because they had scheduled the delivery of their baby by Caesarian section on 28 September 2016, which would have been Ava's third birthday, the judge remarked.

A young life was snuffed out for Seas' own selfish reasons, he said. "It seems unbearable to imagine what went through the young child's mind while being suffocated, and the extent to which she suffered," he continued, while noting that Seas wrote in a journal she had with her that Ava had taken an hour to die.

Seas, who admitted guilt on charges of murder and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice on Monday last week, wiped away tears where she sat in the dock while listening to the judge's remarks.

When the court adjourned after judge Liebenberg sentenced her to 25 years' imprisonment for murder and to a concurrent prison term of one year for attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, Seas tearfully embraced crying relatives who attended the sentencing.

"I have no doubt that the accused upon reflection regrets what she has done to her own child, and will carry this heavy burden for the rest of her life," judge Liebenberg said. "She will have to live with the pain and feelings of guilt for as long as she lives."

One of the psychiatrists who examined Seas to determine if she was fit to stand trial recorded in her report to the court that, according to Seas herself, she was overwhelmed by anger when she committed the murder and then tried to set fire to the car in which she and Ava were.

Seas recorded her anger in a journal that she had with her in the car. The journal was part of the evidence in her trial.

The tone of the entries in the journal suggest Seas was not just angry at the time - she was in a scorching, murderous rage.

The first entry in the journal set the theme for what was to follow. "F*** you all," Seas scrawled over the first page.

"Ava will not be an object between my so-called Seas family and Dumba [Ava's father]," she wrote, before spewing vulgarities at the partner of Ava's father and charging that she had destroyed Ava's life.

Turning to Ava's father, Seas wrote: "I am out of your life but you will not get Ava. Never.

"It is my early B-day gift to you!"

Ava and her father shared a birthday.

Seas also wrote: "You will never again enjoy your bday. Never.

"I made it special and I made it hell now!!!

"Ava took an hour to die.

"Gave her camphor oil and then held her mouth & nose close to not breath at all. (sic)

"I took lots of pills & alcohol & set the car on fire."

Addressing her parents, Seas wrote that as their middle child, she always came last with them, and that she had to give up her dreams because of them.

Her sister and brother were not spared either. About her brother, she wrote that she would not forgive him for having hit her children.

"They are kids. Beating does not always help. F***!" she wrote.

Towards the end of the journal, she concluded: "You can all go to hell for my part."

Seas spent nearly two years in custody before her sentencing. He took that period in custody into account when he decided what sentence to impose, judge Liebenberg said.

In terms of Namibia's Correctional Service Act Seas would have to serve two thirds of her prison term, which would be nearly 17 years, before she may become eligible to be released on parole or probation.

Seas was represented by Mpokiseng Dube. Deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef represented the state.

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