Teacher De Jay Guilty of Wife’s Murder

RETIRED teacher David de Jay maintained a calm and collected appearance as he heard in the Windhoek High Court yesterday that he has been found guilty of the murder of his wife.

De Jay showed no outward signs of shock or emotion when Judge Alfred Siboleka convicted him on charges of murder and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, after he fatally attacked his wife with a knife near Keetmanshoop on 13 February 2009.

Throughout his trial, De Jay (63) denied he was guilty of the murder or of having tried to put the police on a false trail after she had been killed.

De Jay’s wife, Tina de Jay (56), died after she had been stabbed in the chest with a knife at a lay-by next to the B4 road near Seeheim. De Jay was accused of having tried to hinder the police’s investigation of the incident by throwing away the knife that was used to kill his wife and by telling the police that unknown people had killed her during a robbery or, at a later stage, as part of an assisted suicide pact between himself and his wife.

During his trial De Jay told the court he was taking a stroll on the bridge over the Fish River at the scene when he saw two unknown men running away from his car about 100 metres away. The two men were wearing socks without shoes and fled from the scene in a white Citi Golf car, he said.

According to De Jay he ran back to his car, where his wife had been sitting, and found her lying on the ground with a knife stuck in her chest. Her handbag lay nearby on the ground. He said he pulled the knife out of her chest and tossed it away into the veld next to the car.

After people passing by the scene had helped him to load his wife into his car he drove back to Keetmanshoop at high speed until his car ran out of fuel near the town, De Jay said.

Judge Siboleka dismissed De Jay’s claim that his wife had been stabbed by unknown robbers who fled in a white Citi Golf. That was a false story that sent the police off on a search for ghost suspects, the judge commented.

Judge Siboleka recounted that a lorry driver who drove past the scene of the incident that day testified that he saw a man and a woman sitting in the same type of car as De Jay’s. The man had something shiny in his hand and he was hitting the woman with it with his arm making vertical movements, the trucker said. He told the court that he thought the man was assaulting his wife and that he then hooted at them. The man reacted by giving him a thumbs up sign, and he drove on, the driver said.

De Jay’s car later overtook him on the way to Keetmanshoop, he said.

Another lorry driver, who made a stop across the road from the scene, testified that he saw the lower legs of someone protruding from under a blanket on the ground on the other side of De Jay’s car, the judge also recounted. That witness further testified that he saw De Jay throwing some shiny object away into the veld.

The two passers-by who were stopped by an apparently frantic De Jay and then helped him load his wife into his car told the court that the first thing he said to them was: “They killed my wife.”

The witnesses recalled that whereas De Jay had at first said that his wife had been killed, he then told them that she was still alive and pleaded with them to help load her into the car. They said they found it strange that the head of a person who was still alive would have been covered by a blanket.

Judge Siboleka said the only inference that could be drawn from the evidence was that the man and woman whom the first lorry driver saw sitting in the car at the scene were De Jay and his wife, that the up and down movements involving a shiny object that the driver also saw were De Jay stabbing his wife, and that the knife used to kill Tina de Jay was the shiny object that the second lorry driver saw De Jay throwing into the veld.

The next phase of the trial is due to start on 20 May with the hearing of oral arguments and possible further testimony before De Jay has to be sentenced.

Source : The Namibian