Namibia: Long Wait for Pensioner Accused of Murder

2 December 2020

A 79-year-old man from Gobabis will have to wait until 23 March next year to hear judgement on the charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act he faces in the Windhoek High Court.

Acting Judge Petrus Unengu reserved his judgment on the matter after hearing oral arguments on the verdict to be delivered until then.

Theuns Kaneb is on trial for allegedly killing his live-in girlfriend, 46-year-old Nora Tsuses, during the period 9 to 10 March 2018 at the residence they shared in Kanaan location in Epako, using a knobkierie and panga.

According to the indictment, an argument erupted between the accused and the victim, and he hit her with a knobkierie, breaking three of her ribs in the process - and he stabbed or cut her with a panga, causing her to die on the scene due to injuries caused by the blunt force trauma.

Kaneb, who pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial, did not provide a plea explanation and opted to remain silent and put the onus on the State to prove the allegations against him.

Kaneb claimed that on the night in question, he was asleep during the early hours of 10 March 2018 when he heard a knock on his door at around 04h00 in the morning.

After he received no reply upon his enquiry into who it was, he decided to investigate: he switche- on his cellphone's torch and went outside via his kitchen door.

He further said that he then went to the side where the knock came from and again asked who it was, but still received no reply. He then decided to go back inside his house - and when he turned around, he saw a man standing between him and his door, armed with a panga.

"The man raised the panga high and I then threw away my cell phone; a scuffle ensued between me and the man I did not recognise," Kaneb said and continued: I managed to bite him and he let go of the panga and ran away. I chased after him until he went out of my yard and then returned."

He went on to say that he picked up the panga discarded by the unknown man and went back inside his house.

Once inside, he put the panga on the kitchen floor, and when he turned to go to his room, he was jumped from behind by another person, he said. At that stage, Kaneb said, he did not know who it was; he got hold of a knobkierie and started to hit his attacker with it, and also took the panga to defend himself.

He further stated that it was only after he managed to switch on the lights that he realised he injured or killed his girlfriend, as she was lying very still.

Timo Itula, on behalf of the prosecution, yesterday argued that Kaneb was a very poor witness, who chopped and changed his story at will to fall in with how the case unfolded.

He asked the court to convict Kaneb on a charge of murder with direct intent.

His State-funded lawyer Giant Kauari told the court that the only version that could possibly be true is Kaneb's, and that the court acquits him.

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