Windhoek businessman found guilty of killing young woman

A prominent Windhoek businessman accused of shooting and killing a young woman at a bar in Katutura in April 2014, was on Wednesday found guilty as charged in the High Court.

The businessman, 59-year-old Sakaria 'Sacky' Mathias, was found guilty in a judgement handed down by High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on five charges in respect of the circumstances of the shooting incident at his bar in Kamberipa Street on 09 April 2014.

The shooting led to the death of 21-year-old Magdalena Fredericks in hospital the following day.

On the count of killing the young woman, Mathias was found guilty on the charge of murder with direct intention to kill.

He was also found guilty on the charges of attempted murder for shooting and wounding State witness Patrick Hawala in the legs during the incident; illegal possession of a firearm without a licence; illegal possession of ammunition (without having a licensed firearm to use it) and attempting to defeat or frustrate the course of justice when he threw away the pistol used in the incident.

Meanwhile, the businessman was found not guilty and acquitted on the charges of pointing a firearm at another State witness, David Nelongo and negligent of handling a firearm while in public place after the prosecution team could not prove these charges beyond reasonable doubt through the evidence of the State witnesses.

In his oral submissions for judgement, State Advocate Palmer Khumalo, also asked the judge to convict the businessman on a charge of murdering the woman with direct intent to kill.

However, Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer, Trevor Brockerhoff, for the businessman, said his client did not intentionally shoot and kill Fredericks because he acted in self-defence and was a victim of crime at the time of the shooting incident.

The lawyer said Mathias was under imminent threat as a group of five robbers had allegedly attacked him with knives at his place of business on 09 April 2014.

Brockerhoff unsuccessfully wanted the court to acquit his client because he said the firearm he used during the incident belonged to his assailants, who wanted to rob him of N.dollars 2 500.

In addition, Mathias, through his State-funded lawyer, also handed in a statement in terms of Section 115 of the Criminal Procedures Act of 1977 in which he denied guilt or any involvement in the shooting that claimed Fredericks's life.

A summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet has it that Mathias shot and killed Fredericks out of jealousy after he found her in the company of other men in the vicinity of the bar.

It is reported that Mathias and the deceased were in a romantic relationship at the time of the incident.

The businessman was free on bail of N.dollars 5 000, which was terminated as it automatically falls away upon his conviction on Wednesday.

Mathias was, thereafter, remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, pending the presentation of pre-sentencing evidence on 21 November 2019.

Source: Namibia Press Agency