High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg last week sentenced the man he convicted of murdering an elderly farmer at Farm Villa Rosa in the Usakos district to an effective 36 years imprisonment. Dion Haraseb was convicted for the murder of 71-year-old Willem Cornelius de Klerk on 19 October 2015.
The judge sentenced Haraseb to 30 years on the murder conviction, six years for housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery, four years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.
He was also slapped with one year for using a motor vehicle without the owner's consent, four years for defeating or obstructing the course of justice and one year and six months respectively on convictions of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence.
He ordered that the sentences excluding the murder and housebreaking run concurrently. He further sentenced another man - Karel Claasen - who was acquitted on the murder charge and the counts of housebreaking and defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat the course of justice.
Claasen was, however, convicted on the lesser charge of theft as well as on the count of using a motor vehicle without the owners' consent and the possession of a firearm and ammunition. He was sentenced to an effective six years imprisonment.
According to Liebenberg, there can be no doubt that the crimes are serious, moreover where the victim was of an advanced age (71) and living alone on his farm. "As such, he was vulnerable and became the victim of a vicious attack by accused two (Haraseb) during which he was fatally wounded in the abdomen when shot twice with a rifle," the judge said.
"The reasons for killing the deceased remain a mystery as the second accused's evidence was rejected as false as to what led to the shooting and subsequent death of the deceased."
He went on to say that whatever the reasons might have been, there is no justification for killing the victim in these circumstances. The judge added crimes such as murder and robbery are prevalent throughout the country and every law-abiding citizen is shocked to the core at the rate of which these crimes are committed against the most vulnerable in society and the brutality and callousness that in most instances accompany them. "The respect for life as such and the rights of fellow human beings has become non-existent to criminals who, as the two accused in this instance, only served their own interests," the judge stated.