3 December 2018

Namibia: Walvis Bay Man Gets 80-Year Prison Term

A resident of Walvis Bay could spend the rest of his life behind bars after being sentenced to an effective prison term of 80 years on charges of murder, rape, attempted murder and attempted rape at the end of his trial in the Windhoek High Court last week.

Piet Kondjeje Nakanene (33) showed no remorse whatsoever throughout his trial over the heinous crimes he committed against four women, judge Dinnah Usiku commented during Nakanene's sentencing in the High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility on Thursday.

The manner in which Nakanene committed the crimes - attacking women at night, strangling them and attempting to rape them - called for a very severe sentence, judge Usiku said. She also remarked that while the sentences she was handing to Nakanene would appear to be heavy because of their cumulative effect, "those are usually the consequences a convicted person cannot escape".

Judge Usiku sentenced Nakanene to prison terms totalling 94 years. However, with some of the sentences ordered to run concurrently with others, Nakanene was sentenced to an effective 80 years' imprisonment.

Nakanene, who during his trial denied guilt on all of the charges against him, was convicted on one count of murder, one charge of rape, two charges of attempted murder, two counts of housebreaking with intent to rape and attempted rape, another count of attempted rape, and a charge of obstructing the course of justice in a verdict delivered on 6 September.

All of the charges emanated from four separate attacks that were carried out on women at Walvis Bay in September 2006, April 2013, October 2013 and March 2014. The last incident was fatal, with a 29-year-old woman who was involved in a relationship with Nakanene at the time, Benedine Letesia Baumgarten, losing her life when she was strangled during the night of 12 to 13 March 2014.

Baumgarten's body was discovered lying in the sand dunes near the harbour town's Kuisebmond area on 13 March 2014.

In respect of the first two incidents, Nakanene was found guilty of having attempted to rape and murder two women after kicking open the doors to their rooms on 3 September 2006 and 6 April 2013 respectively. On both occasions he throttled the women.

In the third incident over which Nakanene was charged a woman was attacked and throttled while walking home from a bar during the early morning hours of 15 October 2013. Nakanene's trousers were open and he was lying on top of the woman when somebody reacting to her screams came to her rescue and he ran off.

Baumgarten was found dead a day after Nakanene had been heard making threats against her, judge Usiku noted in the judgement in which she convicted Nakanene. She also noted that Nakanene's DNA was found under Baumgarten's fingernails, while he had scratch marks on his body, and that his DNA was found on the handle of a wheeled rubbish bin suspected to have been used to take Baumgarten's body from his room to the spot in the dunes where it was discovered.

Judge Usiku sentenced Nakanene to prison terms of 35 years and 10 years, respectively, for the murder and rape of Baumgarten, 15-year jail terms on each of the two counts of attempted murder, and five years' imprisonment on each of the three attempted rape charges.

Two of the five-year jail terms were ordered to be served concurrently with the counts of attempted murder, while a four-year prison term for obstructing the course of justice was ordered to run concurrently with the sentence on the rape charge.

Legal aid lawyer Mpokiseng Dube represented Nakanene during the trial. Deputy prosecutor general Innocentia Nyoni represented the state.

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