Murder Accused Was Out On Bail for Rape

The man accused of murdering 29-year-old Bernadine ‘Didi’ Baumgarten has just been released from temporary custody in connection with a pending case of rape two weeks ago, court officials at the coast confirmed yesterday. The murder accused is 29-year-old Petrus Piet Nakanene who made his first court appearance on a charge of murder in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Nakanene’s rape case is currently pending in the Swakopmund Regional Court and the police also confirmed that he has just been released from prison two weeks ago.

The late Baumgarten devoted her life to caring for children with disabilities at the Walvis Bay Sunshine Centre until she was murdered.

“The state has a prima facia case linking the suspect [Nakanene] directly to the crime.

“Investigations are also still ongoing,” prosecutor Idin Iyambo explained, adding that Nakanene was last seen in the presence of the deceased.

He objected to bail for the suspect due to the prevailing public sentiment against gender-based violence in the country.

Iyambo requested that the suspect be denied bail and the case be remanded to April 15 for further investigation, since statements still need to be obtained from other witnesses, including the autopsy results.

Magistrate Matulich informed Nakanene that he has the right to apply for bail and should be careful of what he says, because anything he says can and will be used against him in court when the hearing of the case proceeds.

Following the proceedings of the court yesterday, the foster father of the deceased, Santos Croza, told the media that he is heartbroken that his daughter’s life was ended in such a tragic way.

“Didi had a heart of gold and cared for everyone. It is so painful to deal with her horrific death,” said Croza. Baumgarten is survived by two children, a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl.

Passersby found Didi’s body covered in a blanket last week Thursday before lunchtime in the dunes outside Walvis Bay.

Police also confirmed that the body was placed in a garbage bin and pushed to the area in the dunes where it was discovered.

Source : New Era