Namibia: Corona Derails Another Murder Trial

5 August 2020

The trial of a man who allegedly fatally slit the throat of his live-in girlfriend with a kitchen knife was stopped in its tracks because several witnesses are not allowed to travel from the epicentre of Covid-19 in Walvis Bay as a preventive measure.

This was relayed to Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya on Monday when the murder trial of Phillipus Hafeni Haihambo, 55, accused of murder in the shack that he had shared with the deceased in Kuisebmond, was set to start. It is alleged Haihambo, charged with murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, killed his girlfriend Hanguwo Otillie Mwateuvi (36) on Sunday evening on 1 September 2019 at approximately 18h30 at their home in Kuisebmond's 21st Street. He further faces a charge of assault read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act for beating up the deceased, pushing her and dragging her by her feet, causing her injuries during August 2019.

According to the indictment the deceased and the accused were in a love relationship and they had one child together. Haihambo suspected the deceased of cheating on him with an ex-boyfriend as he allegedly found compromising text messages on her phone.

It is stated that in August 2019, an argument erupted between them and he assaulted her as described earlier.

On 1 September, the indictment reads, he went a step further and stabbed the deceased once in the neck causing her to run to a neighbouring shack where she fell down and the accused pursued her and continued stabbing her multiple times in the neck until she died.

He was denied bail during the routine court appearance and he is currently in police custody in the Windhoek Correctional Facility's section for trial-awaiting inmates.

The matter has now been deferred to 14 September for Haihambo to plead to the charge.

The State is represented by Advocate Ian Malumani and Haihambo by legal aid lawyer Alvin Titus.

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