Windhoek — A former police officer from Gobabis, convicted of stabbing his two sons to death in April 2014, was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment by Judge Dinnah Usiku yesterday.
Albertus Ganeb was also convicted on two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act.
It was however ordered that the two life sentences imposed on Ganeb, 33, who appeared in person after he fired three state-funded lawyers, run concurrently. He was also sentenced to two years each on the assault conviction which was also ordered to run concurrently with the life sentence.
This will mean that Ganeb will have to spend at least 25 years behind bars before he will become eligible for parole.
Judge Usiku said that the offences of murder committed in a domestic setting have reached a crisis point and there is a need to impose severe sentences to deter offenders.
The judge further said that the two victims were two young children who were defenceless. "They had nothing to do with their parent's problems, if any," she stressed.
She went on to say that Ganeb throughout the trial showed no remorse at all and that the first thing in showing genuine remorse is to acknowledge the wrongfulness of one's conduct and then demonstrate remorsefulness.
"In his own words accused told the court that he had nothing to apologise about," she said, adding: "He does not even accept the court's verdict."
She further said that it is trite that the Namibian society is plagued by violent crimes especially against women and children and the courts have experienced police officers from specific areas continuing to break the law with impunity.
"Such behaviour can no longer be tolerated and must come to an end," the judge lamented.
She went on to say that it is because of the alarming increase in cases of violence and abuse of children in the country that the Child Care and Protection Act, 3 of 2015 was passed to meaningfully provide for the overall protective framework against all forms of violence and abuse of children.
Judge Usiku further stated that the community of Gobabis was left reeling in disbelief and shock by the brutal slaying of two young children at the hands of their own father for which he has not shown an iota of remorse.
This justifies his permanent removal from society as the crimes committed were brutal and vicious in the extreme, she concluded.
Ganeb was convicted of stabbing his seven-year-old son to death on April 25, 2014 and also of stabbing his four-year-old son at least six times on his body and head causing the boy to die six days later in hospital.
He was further convicted of assaulting the mother of the deceased boys, Romilly Swartz once in October 2013 and again in 2014.
Ganeb denied all the allegations at the start of his trial and claimed that he was so heavily under the influence of intoxicating liquor that he had no recollection of what happened.