By Charity Musa WINDHOEK Lungile Mawisa (21) was sentenced on Friday of last week to 18 years imprisonment by the High Court for killing his pregnant teenage girlfriend, Ipula Akwenye. He was found guilty by Judge Kato van Niekerk for the brutal slaying in 2003 of Ipula who, like himself, was 17 at the time. In passing sentence, Judge Van Niekerk said that after Mawisa was found guilty he showed no remorse for the crime he had committed. She said even though the accused had lied in court that he could not remember the assault, it did not mean he should be punished for telling lies, but for murder. Judge Van Niekerk said the accused had previously had a brush with the law for driving under the influence of alcohol, and that in 2002 he had impregnated another girl and made her abort the child. She said the accused had not learned from his past mistakes. Judge Van Niekerk said in mitigation that Mawisa said he felt terrible about the crime he had committed and that it had destroyed his family. "I think his words must be tested against his deeds because he had left the deceased, went home to sleep and had made up a story about her and pretended to be concerned for her welfare," she said. The judge said his pretence continued and he even went to the hospital knowing full well he had killed Ipula. Judge Van Niekerk said she felt that 18 years imprisonment was an appropriate sentence to prevent others from committing a similar crime and to protect the interests of society. After sentence was passed, an unemotional Mawisa, who was clad in khaki trousers and a grey-blue shirt, got up from his seat and blew a kiss to people believed to have been relatives as he was being escorted from the courtroom by police officers. However, the deceased's mother, Elina Akwenye, was not happy with the sentence imposed on Mawisa, saying it was too low for a murderer who had killed two people. "He deserved to serve 30 or 45 years imprisonment. I will seek guidance from my family on whether we should appeal to the Supreme Court because 18 years is far too little for a man who killed my daughter and his unborn child," she said. Some of the deceased's relatives, who refused to be named, said some Namibian laws were unfair and needed to be revised because a person who steals cattle gets a 20-year prison term while a murderer is given 18 years. Mawisa, a former student at the Delta High School, was convicted and found guilty on Monday of direct intent to kill. During his trial Mawisa, who was 17 at the time of the murder, denied that he was guilty of killing Ipula whose body was found in a patch of veld near the Bach Street Power Station in Windhoek West. She had been struck on the head on numerous occasions with stones and an axe handle by Mawisa, who refused to look at the photos during the trial. He later admitted in court that he had killed her because he was provoked. Ipula had attended the same school as Mawisa who did not show any emotional feelings regarding the loss of her life and that of the unborn baby. Mawisa was born in Windhoek on June 5,1985. His father is Xhosa-speaking and is from South Africa while his mother is a Damara-speaking Namibian. Apart from a few drunken driving incidents, Mawisa had no record of violent criminal acts. Before sentence was passed, there was a peaceful demonstration outside the High Court between 12h00 and 14h00 concerning the same case. The demonstrators displayed placards reading, among others: "No mercy for killers and rapists"; Abortion is killing"; "We want stiffer punishment"; "Judiciary please increase sentences for killers and rapists". Charity Musa is a visiting journalist from Zambia and is currently on attachment with the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa).
2006-09-18 00:00:00 12 years ago