Autopsy Report to End Suicide Teacher’s Trial

THE murder trial of retired teacher David de Jay, who ended his own life by taking an overdose of pills last week, is expected to formally end in the Windhoek High Court today.

A post-mortem examination was done on De Jay’s body yesterday, and a death certificate and report on the autopsy should be available to be provided to Judge Alfred Siboleka today. This was said by State aocate Palmer Kumalo yesterday, after he formally informed Judge Siboleka of De Jay’s death.

De Jay (63) was scheduled to return to court yesterday for the hearing of oral arguments on the sentence that was to be handed to him following his conviction on charges of murder and defeating or obstructing the course of justice. However, his death in a Windhoek hospital on Friday evening meant that his place in the dock remained empty yesterday.

According to a spokesperson of the Namibian Correctional Service, De Jay was taken to hospital on Tuesday last week, after he had taken an overdose of medication. He was treated in the acute care unit of the Katutura State Hospital until he died on Friday evening.

The circumstances of the overdosing and De Jay’s death would be investigated internally by the Correctional Service and a statement on the investigation would then be issued, Deputy Commissioner Evy January has said.

De Jay reportedly wrote a one-page letter to a cellmate in Windhoek Central Prison, where he was kept in custody, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. It is understood that De Jay maintained in the letter that he was not guilty of the charges on which he was convicted on 24 April. De Jay also told the cellmate that he could have the belongings that De Jay had with him in the cell.

Judge Siboleka was due to sentence De Jay over the murder of his wife, Tina de Jay (56), who was stabbed to death near Seeheim south-west of Keetmanshoop on 13 February 2009, and over attempts that De Jay made to put the police on a false trail by claiming that unknown robbers had killed his wife. De Jay offered varying versions of the events around his wife’s death after he was arrested on the evening of 13 February 2009.

One of the versions was that he and his wife were both ill and had made a suicide pact that involved Mrs De Jay hiring killers to end her life, while De Jay planned to take his own life by gassing himself. At his trial, De Jay’s version was that his wife had apparently been robbed and stabbed by two unknown men. He said he saw the two men, wearing socks without shoes, running away from the car where his wife was sitting while he was taking a stroll on the bridge over the Fish River near Seeheim, and that he found his wife with a knife stuck in her chest after he had run back to their car.

However, a police officer who searched the scene on the day of the incident told the court he could find no footprints of two supposed assailants in the area that De Jay said was the attackers’ escape route. The officer also told the court that it had rained in that area the night before and that tracks on the ground should have been visible.

In the judgement in which he found De Jay guilty, Judge Siboleka dismissed De Jay’s defence version that two unknown assailants had robbed and killed his wife. The judge described that version as a false story that sent the police off on a search for ghost suspects.

Relying on testimony that was given by two lorry drivers who drove past the scene where Mrs De Jay was killed, Judge Siboleka concluded that one of the drivers had seen De Jay stabbing his wife, while a second driver later saw him throwing the knife away from him into the veld.

Source : The Namibian