13 December 2018

Namibia: Goliath to Be Sentenced Tomorrow

Photo: New Era
Eldrin Goliath.

Windhoek — Eldrin Goliath, the now 22-year-old resident of Rehoboth who was convicted of murder with direct intent, rape and theft will be sentenced tomorrow in the Windhoek High Court, Judge Christi Liebenberg stated yesterday after hearing oral submissions by the state and defence counsels.

Goliath was convicted by Judge Liebenberg of the rape and murder of 16-year-old Camilla Gabriella Steyn in Rehoboth during the early morning hours of November 06, 2016. He was however only convicted on a count of theft in relation to the robbery charge he faced. He wanted to plead guilty to the murder charge, but denied that he raped and robbed her. In a plea explanation read into the record by his state funded lawyer, Mese Tjituri, the accused claimed he "blacked out" when he strangled the deceased. Judge Liebenberg however entered a plea of not guilty because it seem to him that Goliath pleads non-pathological criminal incapacity.

In his testimony in mitigation of sentence yesterday, Goliath claimed that he regretted the decisions he made in the past and said that if only he could turn back the hands of time, he would do things differently. He said that he started using "illegal substances" like cannabis and methaqualone after he failed Grade 10 and could not find employment. "I use to wake up in the morning and then go to my friend's house where we would smoke cannabis mixed with meth and drink alcohol," Goliath told Judge Liebenberg. On a question from the judge where he got the money to sustain his habits, the accused said he did odd jobs and that he had many friends who supported him. He asked the court to give him a second chance.

Before Goliath took the stand , the mother of the deceased, Elize Steyn testified that the rape and murder of her daughter tore her family apart. She told the court that she is divorced from her husband as she build a wall around her. She further said that she has to depend on tranquilisers to keep her calm during the day and sleeping tablets at night. The distraught mother, wiping away tears, further told the court that her eldest son has withdrawn within himself after his sister's brutal death and her two younger sons are struggling to cope. She said that they all looked up to their sister who was the life of the house. She described the late Camilla as a very spontaneous person with a zest for life. Goliath apologised to the family of Camilla saying: "I am very sorry for the pain I caused you, it might not be easy, but please forgive me." The mother told the court that the gap Goliath caused in her family cannot be filled by him going to prison, but that she want the court to remove him from society for a very long time as she considers him a danger to society.

In his submissions, Tjituri, who is representing Goliath on instructions of Legal Aid, told the court that his client was a young person who was misusing drugs when the incident occurred. According to him the drug use altered the mind-set of Goliath and could not think straight. He asked the court to order the sentences to be imposed to run concurrently to mitigate the cumulative effect of the sentences.

State Advocate Marthino Olivier on the other hand asked the court to impose the harshest sentences possible under the law. He said that Goliath not only robbed a family of their loved one, but robbed out a promising life in the beginning of her journey.

Goliath remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility's section for trial awaiting inmates.

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