Former soldier seeking leave to appeal against long sentence

A former member of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) who was in October this year sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for drowning his five-year-old daughter in Windhoek in 2017, is now seeking to be allowed leave to appeal against the long custodial punishment.

On Thursday, the 30-year-old former soldier - Gabriel Tulinane David - approached the Windhoek High Court with an urgent application asking the court to be allowed leave to appeal against the sentence in another court-being the Supreme Court.

David, particularly, wants another court (Supreme Court) to re-look into the credibility, veracity and truthfulness of the totality of the evidence presented during trial by a number of State witnesses.

' We believe and are of the view that the Supreme Court will come with a different conclusion once the applicant is allowed leave to appeal the long custodial term in that court because the State witnesses made a lot contradictions in respect of the statements they gave to police and when giving before court, ' argued David' s defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji.

Meanwhile, State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi asked for dismissal of the David' s application saying that the case has no merits for success in the Supreme Court.

Acting High Court Orben Sibeya will hand down a ruling in connection with David' s application for leave to appeal on 25 November 2019 at 10h00.

In the main matter, David was on 30 September 2019 found guilty by Acting High Court Judge Orben Sibeya on the charges of murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and the theft of two cell phones.

He was, however, discharged on a count of malicious damage to property after the prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt the veracity of this count through witness evidence.

On 17 October 2019, David was sent jail for 30 years in respect of the first count of murder of drowning his daughter Cornelia Indileni David in the Goreangab Dam on 21 February 2017.

On the second charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, David was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

He got a six-month-prison sentence on the third charge of the theft of two cell phones.

The sentences imposed on the last two counts were ordered to run concurrently with the 30 years custodial term that was handed down in respect of the first count of murder for drowning the child in the dam.

The former soldier, who was based at the Suiderhof Military Base in Windhoek, was arrested on 24 February 2017 in connection with the circumstances under which his daughter died while in his care.

The girl's lifeless body was retrieved from the Goreangab Dam on 21 February 2017, two days after the former soldier collected the child from her relatives' home in the Babylon informal settlement to take her to town.

David vehemently denied killing the child and claimed the child slipped into the dam and he jumped into the water to rescue her, but to no avail.

However, the prosecution said David threw the child into the dam because text messages he sent to the child's mother's phone, stated that he had killed her.

Source: Namibia Press Agency