Namibia: Life Prison Terms for Valentine's Day Killer

A FORMER fishing company employee who was convicted of the Valentine's Day murder of his wife and her suspected lover in northern Namibia six years ago has been sentenced to life imprisonment at the end of his trial in the Oshakati High Court.

The attack in which Mathias kaShindinge Kalunga killed his wife, Selma Imbili (30), and her alleged lover, Matheus Yuye (39), at Omafo in the Ohangwena region on the evening of Valentine's Day in 2013 "was heinous, savage and brutal", judge Herman January commented when he sentenced Kalunga on Friday last week.

The judge noted that Kalunga committed the double murder in a cold-blooded way and like an execution, and remarked that in his view, Kalunga was a danger to society.

Not only society, but also his own relatives and six children deserve to be protected from him and anyone committing such brutal and cold-blooded crimes, judge January said.

Kalunga (48) was convicted on two counts of murder, committed with a direct intention to kill, in October last year. He denied guilt on the charges, and said he was acting in self-defence when he fired the fatal shots, claiming that Imbili and Yuye had tried to kill him by running him over with a vehicle.

However, judge January found that he did not have any lawful justification for firing the shots that killed Imbili and Yuye on 14 February 2013, and that he shot at them with the aim of killing them.

Imbili was struck by six shots, which were directed at her head and face, while Yuye was shot three times, the judge noted during the sentencing. Recounting that Imbili was also shot in one of her hands, he said that was an indication that she had her hand in a defensive position before that shot was fired.

"One can just imagine the fear and agony she must have suffered before her execution by a person she once loved," he remarked.

Imbili was a mother of five children, of which four were fathered by Kalunga, and worked at a salon at Oshikango at the time of her death. Yuye was a businessman from Angola.

Judge January also recounted during the sentencing that an aunt of Imbili told the court the relationship between Kalunga and Imbili had been marked by unresolved disputes, and that Imbili had left their common home at Walvis Bay because of a history of domestic violence.

Kalunga told the court after he had been found guilty that he felt bad about the crimes, and also apologised to the court, his family, Imbili's family and the whole of Namibia. On this, judge January commented: "In my view the accused only paid lip-service with his apologies to the families, the court and Namibia in general. He did not show genuine remorse."

The judge sentenced him to life imprisonment on each of the two murder charges, and ordered that the two sentences should be served concurrently. The practical effect of that is that Kalunga, who has already been in jail for six years, faces a further period of 25 years in prison before he may be considered for release on parole.

The judge also declared him unfit to possess a firearm for the rest of his life, and declared the pistol used by Kalunga to commit the murders as forfeited to the state.

Kalunga was represented by defence lawyer Marcia Amupolo during his trial. Deputy prosecutor general Lucius Matota represented the state.

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