Tebele found guilty of murdering his girlfriend

Windhoek High Court Judge Dinah Usiku on Friday convicted Gobabis resident Erwin Tebele of murder with direct intent � read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act � for killing his live-in girlfriend with a single knife-wound to the chest.

Tebele pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial and claimed that he stabbed Nina Katjatenja in self-defense after he dispossessed her of a knife she had used to stab him twice on his arm.

According to him, he arrived home late at their common home in the Epako location on the evening of September 3, 2013 and when Katjatenja opened the door for him she confronted him about him being late.

She then approached him and accused him of going around with other women and started to stab him and he blocked the blow, suffering a wound on his left arm. She again stabbed him and he again managed to block the blow, suffering another wound on the same arm.

He then grabbed her, twisted her hand, got hold of the knife and stabbed her once. He denied the intention to kill Katjatenja and said he stabbed her just to injure her. However, Judge Usiku said none of the evidence supported such a scenario.

According to her, all the State witnesses testified that they did not observe any injuries on Tebele, neither did he inform them of any injuries. She further said the two children of Katjatenja, who witnessed the stabbing were adamant that it was Tebele who started quarrelling with the deceased and that it he who took the knife and stabbed their mother.

With regard to his intention, the judge said it was clear from the force of the injury - as testified to by the doctor that performed the post mortem - that substantial force was used. She said the court also heard that Tebele made threats to the father of the deceased in the presence of other people, to the effect that he would kill the deceased.

The judge said Tebele's claim of self-defense was clearly an afterthought and stands to be rejected.

According to her, it is a requirement of private defense that the defensive act must be necessary. Whereas the accused claimed to have acted in private defense, he did not seem sure that he was acting as such. Accused had also claimed that the deceased got stabbed as they were wrestling over the knife the judge narrated.

She thus found that the requirements of self-defense were not met in this matter.

At the time the accused stabbed the deceased, the alleged attack on him had already ceased. In his own testimony, the accused admitted that the deceased had stabbed him, first, whereafter he disarmed her and then stabbed her using the same knife. The accused was no longer in danger after he had managed to disarm the deceased, the judge ruled.

State Advocate Felisitas Shikerete-Vendura prosecuted and Mbanga Siyomunji represented Tebele on instructions of legal aid. The matter was postponed to 10h00 on December 11 for pre-sentencing procedures.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia