State wants to appeal against Khamuxas’s punishment

WINDHOEK: The State wants to appeal against the five-year prison term of a woman found guilty of culpable homicide for accidentally stabbing and causing the death of a farm worker in the Outjo District in 2011.

The 40-year-old Magdalena Khamuxas was initially charged with murder, but High Court Judge Naomi Shivute instead found her guilty on a count of culpable homicide.

Khamuxas was then on 24 March this year sent to jail for an effective total of five years for accidentally stabbing and causing the death of farm worker Johannes Kasavi Kangundu on 25 October 2011 at Doringfeld Farm Post.

Meanwhile, the prosecution representative, State Advocate Erick Moyo who also appeared for the State during trial, on Monday brought an urgent application before Judge Shivute in which he asked the court to be granted leave to appeal against both the conviction and sentence.

The State decided to appeal against both the conviction and sentence because it feels that the punishment handed down in the matter was too lenient compared to sentences given in similar cases.

The planned appeal by the State was this morning postponed to 25 June this year in order to allow Khamuxas to apply to the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid for a Government-sponsored defense lawyer to defend her in the hearing of the appeal application.

The late Kangundu died on the spot as a result of a 12 centimeter-deep stab wound between his ribs.

On the first count of stabbing and causing the death of Kangundu, Khamuxas was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment of which two were suspended for a period of five years on condition that she is not convicted of culpable homicide or assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm during the period of suspension.

On this count, the mother of three children was sent to jail for five years. According to court documents, Khamuxas has apologized to the deceased’s family.

On the second count of assault with intent to cause bodily harm for seriously stabbing with a knife and wounding Elfriede Kausiona, Khamuxas was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, one of which is to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed on the first count of culpable homicide.

On the third count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for stabbing and wounding another farm worker, Frans Makushe, Khamuxas was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, which was suspended in total for a period of five years on condition that she is not convicted of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm during the period of suspension.

In the result, Khamuxas was sent to jail for an effective total of five years.

High Court Judge Shivute imposed the punishment saying she brought about the death of the deceased which caused his family a huge amount of grief.

“That could be seen in the evidence of his brother who testified before court. The deceased person and father of a three-year-old girl was a hard working person and used to visit his extended family members on numerous occasions. He also assisted his community and supported family members,” the High Court Judge said.

Khamuxas, deceased Kangundu and two friends, Kausiona and Makushe, were said to be inebriated as they had been drinking home-brewed liquor since earlier that day. According to court documents, Kausiona initiated a fight in which she assaulted the accused first, but there was no ongoing attack when the accused fetched the knife that was used to stab the deceased.

Acting on the instructions of the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid, State-sponsored defense lawyer Boris Isaaks represented Khamuxas during trial.

She had spent three years in police custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility, formerly known as the Windhoek Central Prison, since her arrest in October 2011 awaiting the finalization of her case.

Khamuxas is a first-time offender with no record of a previous criminal offence.

SOURCE: NAMPA