Court Finds De Jay Guilty of Killing Wife

Retired Keetmanshoop teacher David de Jay was convicted of the murder of his wife of fifteen years Catharina Cornelia (Tina) de Jay, which occurred one day before Valentine’s Day in 2009.

The guilty verdict was handed down in the Windhoek High Court last week by Judge Alfred Siboleka.

Siboleka convicted De Jay of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act and of defeating or obstructing, or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

De Jay claimed that his wife was killed by robbers while he was walking on a bridge over the Fish River near Keetmanshoop. Siboleka called the story of attackers wounding and robbing the deceased a “fabrication”. The judge said “it is incredible to believe that a 57-year-old woman would so quietly have sustained several knife stab wounds in a robbery attack, her necklace, wristwatch, and a ring removed just metres away from her husband in the same vicinity, but fails to struggle, call out, scream or shout for help whatsoever to alert her husband about the danger she found herself in.”

The judge added: “The accused made the blow movements with a hand in which he held a shining object, which he was later seen throwing away. This object was a knife, which the police picked up and was identified by the accused as his property.” He said the woman to whom the accused directed the blows was found to have been fatally stabbed with a sharp object that resulted in her death at the scene.

Siboleka found that the only reasonable inferences standing out “very clearly” from the evidence placed before the court, which excludes all other inferences, were that at the scene there was only one sedan vehicle, which belonged to the accused and that it was the accused and the deceased who were sitting inside their Chrysler sedan on the day of the incident.

The judge said the up and down movements the accused was seen doing were in fact stabbing blows that the accused was inflicting on the deceased. Another inference was that the shining object seen in the accused’s hand was in fact a knife (the murder weapon) and that it was in fact the very same knife which the accused removed from the deceased’s chest and threw away to avoid detection.

Siboleka said it was the same knife the police picked up 52 metres from the scene after a three-day search and that the version of the accused that the handle of the knife he removed from the chest of the deceased was wrapped in a tube was an afterthought and untrue.

Siboleka said that it was very unlikely that robbers would leave a murder weapon, in this case a knife, sticking out in the chest of the deceased, because they would know it can be used to trace them through fingerprints and result in their arrest.

According to the judge, the story of the attackers wounding and robbing the deceased and fleeing in a City Golf was a fabrication – it never happened and the accused’s allegation that there were items such as a camera, rings and other things that went missing after the robbery and were not recovered was not true.

Lastly, the judge said, the accused’s false allegation of a robbery by unknown persons at the scene led the police to mount a search for ghost suspects. “In conclusion I therefore rule that the prosecution has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt that it was indeed the accused who stabbed deceased Catharina Cornelia de Jay with a knife in the chest as a result of which she died.”

De Jay will return to court on May 20 for submissions on the sentence to be meted out to him and he remains in custody. De Jay was represented by Boris Isaacks during the trial and State Aocate Palmer Khumalo prosecuted.

Source : New Era