Witness Recounts Merciless Assault on Woman

NOBODY came to the rescue of alleged murder victim Loretta Kruger while her boyfriend was kicking her repeatedly in the face, a witness testified in the Windhoek High Court this week.

“It was continuous,” prosecution witness Helena Williams told Judge Nate Ndauendapo when she described how Kruger’s boyfriend, Gregory Kangandjera, kicked her in the face where she lay on the ground outside a bar at Groot Aub on the evening of 13 November 2010.

“Every time she tried to get upright he would kick her back again, and then she would lie still for a minute or so before she came upright again,” Williams said.

While a group of people also witnessed the assault on Kruger, no one intervened or came to her aid, Williams said. She added that she, too, was too scared to intervene.

Kruger later managed to get up and walk away from the scene, Williams said. That was the last time that she saw her, she said.

Five days later, on 18 November 2010, Kruger was found dead in the veld near the house where she and Kangandjera lived. A rope, made of the wick of an oil lamp, was tied around her neck, while another end of the rope was tied around the branch of a small tree where she lay. The rope had broken, though.

The prosecution is charging that Kangandjera murdered Kruger (32) by assaulting and strangling her, and then staged a fake suicide scene to make it appear as if she had taken her own life.

Kangandjera (37) pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, assault, and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, at the beginning of last week.

His defence lawyer, Joshua Kaumbi, has been telling witnesses testifying for the prosecution that Kangandjera is denying that he assaulted Kruger, and that according to him she committed suicide by hanging herself.

Williams’ testimony that she had seen Kangandjera kicking Kruger repeatedly in the face “is a total fabrication and a lie”, Kaumbi also charged when he cross-examined Williams on Tuesday.

Those instructions from Kangandjera are a lie, Williams replied. She added that she did not know if Kruger later committed suicide, but she knew that she had seen Kangandjera kicking her at the bar.

The court has heard that the alleged assault on Kruger was preceded by an assault that Kangandjera carried out against a man he had found dancing with Kruger at a drinking place, Mafia Bar, at Groot Aub.

A nephew of Kruger, Jamail Theunissen, testified this week that he was also at Mafia Bar on the evening in question. He said he saw Kangandjera slapping a man inside the bar and then taking the man outside, where he again slapped the man. The man fell to the ground when he was slapped outside the bar, and ran off after getting up from the ground.

Kangandjera then turned on Kruger and started to beat her, Theunissen said. He said Kruger also fell to the ground after Kangandjera had slapped her. Kangandjera then started to kick her, Theunissen said.

He said the assault ended only after he stopped Kangandjera.

Theunissen also testified that Kangandjera told his grandmother – Kruger’s mother – two days after the incident at the bar that he and Kruger had had a fight and that he had hit her. A day later, Kangandjera told Kruger’s mother that Kruger had left his locked house by climbing out of a window and that he did not know where she had gone, Theunissen said.

According to Kangandjera, though, Kruger disappeared from his house on the morning after the incident at the bar, Kaumbi told the witness.

Another witness, Reinhard Hoaseb, also told the court on Wednesday that Kruger fell down when Kangandjera slapped her outside Mafia Bar.

“She went down. That’s the moment he started kicking her, while she was on the ground,” Hoaseb said. “She fell on her back. As he was kicking I could see that it was directed at her ribs.”

The trial was postponed to the period of 13 to 24 July next year after Hoaseb’s testimony was concluded. Kangandjera is being kept in custody.

Source : The Namibian