A 29-YEAR-OLD man admitted in the Windhoek High Court yesterday that he murdered his girlfriend nearly three years ago by repeatedly stabbing her with a knife and crushing her skull with an axe.
With his trial getting underway before acting judge Eileen Rakow, Benedictus Koper admitted guilt on charges of murder and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, but denied that he was guilty on counts of attempted murder and rape as well.
Koper (29) admitted that he murdered the 25-year-old Kalista Erastus, who was his girlfriend, at the farm Vuurslag in the Gobabis district on 3 October 2016, and that he tried to obstruct an investigation of her death by attempting to burn her body.
The prosecution has also charged Koper with counts of attempted murder and rape, alleging that on 27 November 2014, he attacked a woman who was on her way to an engagement celebration at Karasburg. Koper is accused of having strangled the woman, throwing her to the ground, biting and beating her, and that he also raped her. On those two charges, Koper denied guilt.
In a typewritten plea explanation that defence lawyer Vernon Lutibezi handed to the judge, Koper admitted that he murdered Erastus by stabbing her several times with a knife.
"I also admit that I crushed her skull by hitting her with an axe on her head," he stated. He continued: "Further, I also admit that I hit her several times with fists, and kicked her all over her body."
When he assaulted Erastus, stabbed her and struck her with the axe, he intended to kill her, Koper also stated.
On the charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, Koper admitted that he set Erastus' body alight, using grass and matchsticks, with the aim of concealing her death and destroying evidence of the assault he had perpetrated on her.
The state is alleging that Koper collected a knife and axe from a shack at the farm where the murder took place while he and Erastus were walking home on 3 October 2016. In its indictment, the prosecution is also charging that Koper attacked Erastus during the night, when he stabbed her at least 13 times with a knife and fractured her skull by hitting her with an axe.
Koper was arrested after he handed himself over to the police the next day. He has been kept in custody since his arrest.
His trial is due to continue from Tuesday next week.
State advocate Hesekiel Iipinge is prosecuting.