Namibia: State Calls for Conviction of Taxi Driver Accused of Murder

17 February 2021

State advocate Solomon Kanyemba on Monday asked Windhoek High Court Judge Eileen Rakow to convict murder accused Victor Elia on all charges he is facing. According to Kanyemba, the State proved its case against Elia beyond a reasonable doubt and the only logical conclusion the judge can arrive at is that it was indeed Elia that killed Iyaloo Ndapandula Hainghumbi (25), whose body was discovered in a bushy area along the western bypass highway on 17 January 2017.

He further stated that the State also proved that Elia robbed the deceased of her belongings, including a cell phone, a SIM card, a handbag, a jacket and a pair of shoes and then dumped her body in a bushy area to frustrate the investigation into the disappearance of the deceased.

"The accused only placed bare denials before court and the overwhelming evidence placed before court by the State remains uncontroverted," he told the judge and continued: The accused was not a credible witness, neither were his two witnesses. The accused person's version was proved to be a recent fabrication and false beyond reasonable doubt and therefore fall to be rejected.

He further conceded that the evidence placed before court is circumstantial as there were no eyewitnesses, but said the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming and suffices to prove Elia's guilt.

Mbanga Siyomunji who is on record for Elia told the court that the State dismally failed to prove its case against his client.

According to him, there is completely nothing to link his client to the charges. While there is evidence that the accused was in telephonic contact with the deceased on the day in question, the State failed to show that Elia was in physical contact with the deceased, Siyomunji argued. While the DNA of the deceased was found in the bus Elia was driving, he said, no DNA of the accused was found on the body of the deceased or vice versa.

With regards to the DNA of the deceased found in the bus, it would not be uncommon as she was a regular passenger in his bus as they were in a relationship, he continued. In fact, he said, DNA expert Maryn Swart could not definitively say when the deceased's DNA was deposited in the bus.

Elia denied all the allegations against him at the start of the trial and put the onus on the State to prove each and every allegation.

According to the indictment, Elia, who was a long-distance bus driver at the time, received a text message from the deceased on the morning of 16 January 2017 from the deceased's cell number informing him that she has a new boyfriend.

At that stage, the deceased and Elia had been in an intimate or romantic relationship for some time, the indictment read.

This message was sent to Elia after the deceased spent the weekend of 13 to 15 January 2017 with the new boyfriend who came to visit her from the coast, it is stated.

It is further stated that Elia then met up with the deceased during the period 16 and/or 17 January 2017 in Windhoek and killed her by kicking and/or beating her all over her body and head with unknown objects whereafter he robbed her of a cellular phone.

The judge indicated that she will deliver judgment on 31 March and Elia remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility's section for trial awaiting inmates.

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