Windhoek — A 43-year-old hearing impaired man who confessed he killed the 56-year-old mother of his girlfriend by stabbing her with a screwdriver four times in her upper body five days after he hacked his brother-in-law with a panga on the shoulder was sentenced to 28 years in prison last week.
Pitjo Akamana Jacob was sent to jail by Judge Marlene Tommasi in the Oshakati High Court.
Judge Tommasi sentenced Jacob to five years, of which two years were suspended for five years on the condition he is not convicted of assault or any offence involving violence during the period of suspension on an assault to do grievous bodily harm conviction and 25 years on a murder conviction, sending him to prison for 28 years effectively. Jacob who lives in Angola near the Namibian border entered Namibia on May 10, 2011 to visit his girlfriend and two children who were staying at his brother-in-law's homestead after her mother fetched her from the homestead of Jacob on his request.
At the time, he requested the deceased to fetch his girlfriend and children as he was suffering from illness. When he visited the homestead of the brother-in-law, his aim was to persuade the girlfriend to return to him as he was healed, the judgment reads.
However, he was not welcomed at the brother-in-law's place and hence the assault charge.
On May 15, 2011, he again found his way into Namibia and met up with the deceased and stabbed her.
In a plea explanation submitted on his behalf, Jacob stated that he killed the deceased on the advice of a witchdoctor who told him that it was the deceased who bewitched him, making him sick.
According to a welfare report submitted as evidence, the accused was found wandering around, as a child after his village was bombed during the Angolan civil war. He was adopted by the people who found him and taught him to read and write.
Although he did not have steady employment, he worked periodically and after he met his girlfriend he built his own homestead in Angola and fathered two children with the girlfriend and he maintained them. While the adoptive family of the accused described him as a non-aggressive person, the judge said, the attack on the brother-in-law was perpetrated with a dangerous weapon and was intended to cause serious injury. "I however bear in mind that the accused was provoked to anger by the family's refusal to allow him to see his girlfriend and children," Judge Tommasi stated.
"I am further mindful of the fact that the accused suffered from a debilitating impairment which impacts on his ability to properly communicate with others," she stated in pre-sentencing.
She further said that this does not excuse his conduct, but does lessens his moral blameworthiness.
But, she said, when it comes to the murder, the court has regard to the fact that the accused was not provoked in any way. "He committed this offence five days after the first. By his own admission, the murder was pre-meditated and intentional. The wounds suffered and the weapon used are indeed a testimony of the viciousness of the attack perpetrated on an unsuspecting and unarmed vulnerable victim," the judge remarked. She went on to say that the manner in which the offence was committed indeed calls for a lengthy custodial sentence.
Jacob was represented by Legal Aid lawyer Phineas Nsundano and the state by Martha