Strangler Admits Guilt On Murder Charge

AFTER strangling his former girlfriend with a tie in her room two years ago, Petrus Gabriel made sure that she was dead and told her roommate that he did not want to leave his victim alive.

Gabriel also told the roommate of his ex-girlfriend, Elizabeth Tuwilika Ekandjo, that he was going to commit suicide, before he tearfully told her that he was sorry that he had killed her best friend.

This was part of the testimony that Erika Embashu, who shared a rented room with Ekandjo in the Khomasdal area of Windhoek, gave in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

Embashu described the events that took place in her and Ekandjo’s room during the early morning hours of 6 June 2012 to Judge Alfred Siboleka, after Gabriel pleaded guilty to a charge of murder and not guilty to a count of kidnapping.

In a plea explanation given to the court by his defence lawyer, Willem Visser, Gabriel (32) admitted that he murdered Ekandjo (21) by strangling her with a tie. Gabriel said in the statement that he and Ekandjo had been involved in a romantic relationship and that they had an argument on the day before the incident. It was because of that argument that he strangled Ekandjo, he stated.

Ekandjo was a student at the Polytechnic of Namibia and was doing an internship with Telecom Namibia at the time she was killed. Gabriel is charged with counts of murder and kidnapping. Except for being accused of having murdered Ekandjo, he is also accused of having kidnapped Embashu by locking her up in a wardrobe in the room that she and Ekandjo shared.

Embashu testified that around 01h00 on 6 June 2012 she was woken from her sleep when she heard Ekandjo screaming. When she ran to the door, as she wanted to look for help outside, she found that the door was locked and that the key had been removed from the lock.

Embashu said she switched on the light in the room and then saw Gabriel standing bent over Ekandjo, holding her down on the floor. She said he told her to get into the wardrobe, which he locked after she had complied with his instruction.

She was locked in the wardrobe for about 15 minutes. When Gabriel unlocked the wardrobe, she saw Ekandjo lying on the floor of their room, covered with a blanket, Embashu said.

Gabriel asked her if she knew why Ekandjo had ended their relationship and if Ekandjo had a new boyfriend, Embashu said. He then went through the text messages on Ekandjo’s phone and went onto Ekandjo’s Facebook profile, while asking her questions about people on the Facebook page, she told the court.

After that, Gabriel went to Ekandjo where she lay on the floor and removed a tie from her neck, Embashu testified. He then told her that he was going to commit suicide, started crying and told her that he was sorry that he had killed her friend, Embashu said.

“She was my best friend,” Embashu described her friendship with Ekandjo to the judge.

She testified that Gabriel returned to Ekandjo, called out her name, and said he wanted to make sure that she was dead, because he did not want to leave her behind alive. She added that he also told her that a joint memorial service should be held for him and Ekandjo and that they should be buried in the same grave.

Gabriel left the scene after he had instructed her to phone Ekandjo’s brother to summon him to their room, Embashu said.Relatives of Gabriel handed him over to the police the next day. He has been kept in custody since then.

Source : The Namibian