Windhoek — The mother of Tiffany Tanita Levin, who was stabbed 27 times with several knives in front of her four-year old-son, told High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo yesterday about the impact her death has on her family.
Fighting back tears, Elsabe Levin told the court that the son of the deceased, now 10-years old, has developed behavioural problems since the brutal death of his mother.
The boy was present when his mother was viciously stabbed by Johny Ryno Diergaardt on March 3, 2014 at the room he rented at Erf 427, Garnet Street in Khomasdal.
The son had apparently tried to stop Diergaardt by stabbing him in the leg with one of the knives that the perpetrator dropped.
Elsabe told the judge that the boy at one stage took a knife and said to his nephew "do you want to see how a person is stabbed?"
She further said the boy has become aggressive and is picking fights at school, when he is not bunking classes.
She further said he has started to socialise with the wrong kids.
According to Elsabe, she was informed by a shop assistant how the boy, in the company of his friends, spend money on sweets, energy drinks and cigarettes.
She further informed the court that the boy was taken in for counselling but this has not helped, saying he often throws tantrums when he does not get his way.
When asked how she felt about the death of her daughter, Elsabe could not hold back tears and told the court: "I will never see my child again and the manner in which she died is not natural."
"How do you stab a person 27 times?"
Diergaardt who was convicted by Judge Ndauendapo on murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act testified in mitigation and asked the court to show him mercy.
According to him, he never planned to kill Tiffany and definitely not in that manner.
"I don't know what came over me, it just happened," he said.
He further added he loved the victim and wanted to build a life with her.
Diergaardt pleaded with the court for a lenient sentence in order to give him a chance to be a part of his children and make up to them for taking away their mother.
He also apologised to the family and friends as well as to the Namibian society for ending the life of Tiffany.
"I ask for forgiveness to the friends and relatives of the deceased for the hurt I caused them. I know words cannot undo the hurt, but I just hope they can find space in their hearts to forgive me one day," he said while wiping away tears.
The matter continues today.
The State is represented by Seredine Jacobs, while Diergaardt is represented by Boris Isaacks.