Long wait for murder by arson accused

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Long wait for murder by arson accused

The trial of a man from Ariamsvlei in the Karasburg district, who is accused of pouring petrol over his girlfriend and setting her on fire in 2020, was postponed yesterday until February 2023.

This is after prosecutor Ian Malumani explained to Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg that witnesses he had lined up, are not available now.

The judge agreed to remand the matter. 

The earliest dates in the court’s diary are, however, only next year. The matter was accordingly postponed to 15 February and to run until 17 February, and again on 23 February and 13 March 2023.

Manfred Links (30) is facing one charge of murder and two charges of attempted murder, all read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.

It is alleged by the State that on 1 January 2020, he unlawfully and intentionally assaulted Michelle Roelph, whom he was in an intimate relationship and had a child with, by pouring petrol on her and setting her alight with the intention to kill her.

Roelph died on 12 January 2020 from her injuries in the Keetmanshoop State Hospital. 

It is further alleged that earlier on 1 January, he assaulted the deceased by hitting her with a belt all over her body, and strangling her manually and with a belt with the intention to kill her. 

The State further charges that Links also tried to kill his daughter by dousing her with petrol and setting her alight, causing her to sustain serious burn wounds on her arms and feet when he set alight the deceased.

On Tuesday and yesterday, nurses who attended to the deceased informed the court that she suffered more than 80% burns all over her body and was in immense pain.

Links is represented by Milton Engelbrecht, on instructions of Legal Aid.

– rrouth@nepc.com.na