By Roland Routh WINDHOEK - The man who is accused of brutally beating his pregnant girlfriend to death and then “staging” her suicide at Groot Aub wants to be released on bail. Gregory Kangandjera, 37, lodged a formal bail application on Monday after spending more than four years in custody without applying for bail. His failure to apply for bail earlier was because of the lack of a legal representative, he told the court. According to Kangandjera, the evidence so far produced against him is not strong enough to secure a conviction and he is sure that the court would acquit him on all charges at the end of the trial. While most if not all of the state witnesses so far testified that they saw Kangandjera assaulting the deceased, he told the court that they made up the assault as they all were drunk that evening. He called them liars. Kangandjera is on trial for the murder of 33-year-old Loretta Kruger who was a few weeks pregnant at the time of her demise, at Groot Aub village during the period November 13 to 18 2010 His legal representative tried his best to lead Kangandjera away from the legal traps that were waiting for him in abundance. While he denied assaulting the deceased, he claimed that he found her in a riverbed covered in bruises after she allegedly fell down drunk. He then took her home with the help of other people, he said. This version supports that of two state witnesses who told the court that Kangandjera asked them to help him carry the deceased home and when they could not manage, he asked them to fetch a wheelbarrow. Both claimed that the deceased was virtually unconscious during that time. One of them told the court that he saw the deceased the next morning and her face was swollen, blue and black. Kangandjera however told the court in his evidence that the deceased had only a slight blue eye and some scrapes she obtained while walking drunk through the bushes. He also told the court that after he managed to take the deceased home the previous night, he left her in his residence the next morning and went to fetch his cellphone that he left to charge at least 2km from his home. When he returned after approximately 20 minutes she had managed to climb through the window as he locked the door “to keep thieves out”. He said she was sleeping but asked him to close the door when he woke her to tell her that he was leaving. This is another direct contradiction to what another state witness testified – that the deceased was not moving and could not speak. According to Kangandjera, when he realised after a while that the deceased would not return he went to her mother’s place to enquire about her whereabouts. He said that he then spent the next couple of days looking for the deceased and when he was about to report her missing to the police, her body was found hanging from a tree. He denied claims by other state witnesses that the tree where the body was found was barely high enough to hold a person and said that the tree was at least 2.2m high. He is facing one charge of murder, one charge of assault and one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice. On the second charge it is alleged that Kangandjera assaulted Ipuleni Natangwe by slapping him on November 13 2010 and the third count states that he is guilty of defeating or obstructing the course of justice as a result of him tying a rope around the neck of Kruger and a tree branch and reported to the police and members of the community that she committed suicide. While the “official” cause of death is strangulation, the autopsy report on Kruger indicates that she died as a result of eight broken ribs and blood on the brain and kidneys. The bail hearing continues today.
New Era Reporter
2015-01-14 07:55:24 4 years ago