State wants guilty verdict for murder accused

State Advocate Felisitas Shikerete-Vendura yesterday asked Judge Dinah Usiku in the Windhoek High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility to return a verdict of murder with direct intent for Erwin Tebele, who is accused of killing his live-in girlfriend with a single stab wound to the chest.

According to Shikerete-Vendura, the only conclusion the court can come to is that Tebele stabbed Nina Katjatenja with the intention to kill her when she confronted him at their common home in the Epako location during the late evening of September 3, 2013.

She said the evidence of the two minor children that witnessed the stabbing, although contradictory in some aspects, paint a clear picture of what transpired that evening and that is, she said, that he carried out a threat he made to the father of the deceased.

The father, Lazarus Katjatenja, testified Tebele told him 'one day I will kill your daughter.'

Shikerete-Vendura said the two minor children corroborated each other in material respects and that their slight contradictions can be attributed to the time that elapsed since the incident, and that they were traumatised since they witnessed their mother being murdered right in front of their eyes.

Both spoke the same language and that is that the accused simply picked up the knife and stabbed their mother, she stressed.

According to Shikerete-Vendura, the children bore no grudge against the accused as both testified that they had a good relationship with Tebele and asked the court to treat them as credible witnesses.

On the other hand, Shikerete-Vendura said, the accused's testimony was full of contradictions and inconsistencies.

He pleaded not guilty and claimed self-defence, but from his own version he had already took the knife from the deceased and as such she was no longer a threat to him, she told the court, adding that his evidence which was altered as the trial progressed to suit his version should be rejected as false beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mbanga Siyomunji, the state-funded lawyer of Tebele, argued the testimonies of the two minor children should be taken with a pinch of salt.

According to him the girl testified that she only woke up the boy after the stabbing incident thus making his testimony hearsay.

For the girl herself, Siyomunji said, she testified that she did not see the stabbing as she looked away, and could thus not be treated as a credible witness. In any event, he said, the girl did not recognise the knife in court while the boy, whom she only woke up after the stabbing, did.

With regard to the defence of self-defence, he said the requirement for self-defence is that a person should be under imminent attack and that was the case in this instance.

He maintained that the evidence supports a verdict of private defence and asked the court to find that Tebele acted in self-defence when he stabbed the deceased which unfortunately brought about her death.

Judge Usiku reserved her judgement and said she will deliver the judgement on October 20 at 10h00.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia