Namibia: 28-Year Jail Term Over City Strangling

A SOUTH African citizen con- victed of murder over the killing of a woman found strangled at her home in Windhoek five years ago, received a prison term of 28 years in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

The only factor in favour of convicted Wilhelm ('Wimpie') Februarie is that he had spent five years in custody before his trial was concluded, judge Naomi Shivute said during Februarie's sentencing on a charge of murder.

Judge Shivute added that Februarie, who denied guilt during his trial and did not testify in mitigation of sentence after he was found guilty, also did not show any remorse. She also noted that he committed a serious offence, targeting a vulnerable woman who was defenceless and under

the influence of liquor when she was killed for no apparent reason. Februarie (40) was convicted of murder committed with a direct intention to kill when judge Shivute concluded, in the judgement that she delivered in his trial in June this year, that he was responsible for the killing of Dinah Diedericks (57) at her home in Windhoek West during

the evening of 21 June 2014. The prosecution alleged that Februarie accompanied Diedericks to her home in Windhoek West after a party that they attended at a prison warder's house on the premises of the Windhoek Correctional Facility. The party was held to celebrate Februarie's

engagement to his then fiancée. The state also charged that Februarie raped Diedericks at her house, and murdered her by

strangling her with his hands.

Februarie admitted that he accompanied Diedericks to her home. However, he told the court he left her alive after she could not find her house keys and she insisted that he should leave, as she thought his fiancée might have mixed feelings about him spending time with her.

On the rape charge that Febru- arie faced, judge Shivute found that except for the fact that Diedericks was half-naked when her body was found lying outside her home, there was no evidence connecting Februarie to an allegation that he had raped her.

Judge Shivute noted in her judgement that a spot of blood that matched Diedericks' DNA profile was found on the tracksuit jacket that Februarie was wearing on the evening in question. A DNA sample taken from Diedericks' right hand also matched Februarie's

DNA profile.

Februarie told the court Diedericks had a nosebleed after she and a friend had been involved in a fight, which he broke up, at the party they attended together. He also said he and Diedericks, whom he regarded as a sort of mother figure, danced together at one stage.

However, according to other witnesses, there was no music or dancing at the party, and none of them saw a fight involving Dieder- icks and her friend, judge Shivute recounted.

Februarie was working as a handyman before his arrest the day after Diedericks was killed. He had previously also been employed by Diedericks' ex-husband, the court heard during his trial.

Defence lawyer Mbanga Si- yomunji represented Februarie during the trial. State advocate Salomon Kanyemba prosecuted.

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