WINDHOEK - The murder trial of Richard Hange, dogged with delays, finally got out of the starting blocks yesterday with Hange pleading not guilty. Hange’s State-funded lawyer Hipura Ujaha told Judge Liebenberg his client disputes every accusation against him and put the onus on the State to prove each allegation levelled against him. He said their defence would become apparent during the trial. The State claims Hange killed his live-in girlfriend, Lisa Kandovazu, on September 27, 2011, at her residence in the informal settlement of Havana in Wanaheda, Windhoek. It is alleged Hange hit the deceased with unknown blunt object(s) on her head, tried to strangle her and/or stabbed her at least twice with a knife. Kandovazu died on the scene due to blood loss caused by one of the stab wounds while the injuries caused by the blunt force also contributed to the deceased’s demise it is alleged. The first State witness to testify Emely Kambaraa, who was a neighbour of the deceased, testified that on the fateful day she saw Hange arriving at the deceased’s house with a bag. Hange left the bag outside the house and went inside, the witness recollected. “I then went back inside my own house and after a while the deceased’s seven-year-old brother came and told me the deceased wanted to borrow my cellphone to send some SMSes,” Kambaraa narrated. She further testified that soon thereafter she heard a loud noise like garbage tins slamming against each other and she immediately went out to see what was going on. At that stage, another neighbour - who is a taxi driver - also enquired about the noise, she said, and added she heard someone scream, “someone please help me” from the deceased’s house. During cross-examination Kambaraa was adamant the scream came from the deceased and not from Hange, as he stated through his legal counsel. The witness told the court she went to the house of the deceased where she found the boy still with the phone in his hand and upon enquiry he told her Hange was in the bedroom with the deceased. “I then called 'Lappies',” as she referred to Hange, “and when there was no reply I called the deceased,” the witness said. She further stated she heard sounds of groaning coming from the room and since the deceased used to get fainting spells she thought it was yet another fainting spell. According to Kambaraa, after she found the bedroom door locked, she decided to go and look for help from the neighbours. That is when she ran into the deceased’s older brother Emel ‘Seun’ Kandovazu. After unsuccessfully trying to break down the hardwood wall of the shack, Kandovazu went to fetch an axe to break down the door, the witness said. While they were busy chopping at the door, Hange told them to stand away so that he can open the door, she testified. “We all went outside the house and stood in a group together when the accused came out of the house with his eyes wild like an animal’s, bulging and with foam around his mouth,” she testified. According to the witness, Hange had a knife in his hands with which he started to cut himself on the throat several times. At that stage Seun rushed at Hange with the axe still in his hands, but Hange retreated back into the house and the mob managed to take the axe from Seun, she said. Hange went into the house where he collapsed between the sitting room and the bedroom, the witness narrated and added she then went into the house to the door of the bedroom where she could see the legs of the deceased. “When I touched her legs, I could feel that she was ice cold and realised that she was dead,” Kambaraa told the court. The trial continues and Hange remains in custody. State Advocate Jack Eixab is representing the State.
New Era Reporter
2015-03-19 09:16:13 4 years ago