Namibia: //Kharas Man Denies Murdering Friend

A //KHARAS resident accused of having murdered a friend and dragging his body behind a car to dump it away from the scene of the killing denied guilt on four charges when he went on trial in the Windhoek High Court on Monday.

Defence lawyer Titus Mbaeva, who is representing Klein Thomas Pieterson (35), informed judge Naomi Shivute after Pieterson pleaded not guilty that he would not be offering any plea explanation from his client to the court.

Pieterson is being prosecuted in connection with an incident that took place in the Tses area in the //Kharas region in November 2017.

The state is alleging that Pieterson murdered a friend of his, Josef Olifand (44), between 4 and 12 November 2017, while Olifand was visiting him at a farmhouse where he was living in the Tses area.

Pieterson is alleged to have killed Olifand by hitting him with an axe or hammer or other object. The state is also charging that Pieterson tied a piece of wire around Olifand's neck after the killing, tied the wire to Olifand's car, and used the vehicle to drag Olifand's body away from the farmhouse to a spot where he dumped the corpse.

When passers-by later discovered the body, Pieterson allegedly returned to the place where he had dumped it and dragged the corpse to a ditch, where he allegedly tried to hide it again by burying it under stones.

The state is further alleging that Pieterson robbed Olifand by stealing his car, and that he then used the vehicle and also transported paying passengers with it.

He eventually abandoned the car along the B1 road near Tses, after the vehicle had broken down, the prosecution is also charging.

Olifand's decomposing remains were discovered on 12 November 2017, the court heard yesterday.

Pieterson is being tried on counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, defeating or obstructing the course of justice, and acquiring, possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities.

In addition to telling the judge that Pieterson would not be giving a plea explanation to the court, Mbaeva said according to Pieterson, the robbery charge was a duplication of the murder charge, and the information in the count of acquiring, possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities did not disclose an offence. The trial is continuing. Pieterson is being kept in custody.

State advocate Tangeni Iitula is prosecuting.

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