New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / 22 years’ imprisonment for baby killer

22 years’ imprisonment for baby killer

2023-12-08  Roland Routh

22 years’ imprisonment for baby killer

A man from Rundu, who was convicted of murder with direct intent after slashing his one-month-old baby’s stomach open with a traditional knife in 2019, was last week sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment.

Oshakati High Court Judge Eduard Kesslau sentenced Markus Shikerete (24), who was convicted of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, to direct imprisonment after rejecting his plea of medical negligence. 

Shikerete had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and told the court he “only scratched” the baby girl. 

However, Kesslau found that based on the medical evidence, the baby’s stomach was slashed open to the point that the intestines were protruding. Shikerete claimed it was negligence on the part of the nursing staff at Nyangana Hospital that had caused the baby’s death. 

The incident took place on 19 October 2019 at Shipando village near Rundu. 

Judge Kesslau said the crime of murder in a domestic context is extremely prevalent in the country with a disturbing trend of parents killing their own children and it is in the interest of society that Shikerete be punished for his crime and society demands that much from courts. 

While his youthfulness counts in his favour, the fact that he could easily be influenced by the mere say-so of other people to kill his child and the fact that he does not take any responsibility for his actions, but instead either blamed the influence from his family or the “devil”, is an indication that he is danger to society and should be removed for a considerable period. 

Judge Kesslau further said the accused was estimated to be 19 years old at the time of the incident and still in Grade six and from the various school reports, he had failed most subjects repeatedly. 

“His intellectual development appears not to be on par with his age when considering his demeanour and behaviour in court,” the judge remarked. He further said Shikerete is a first-time offender and had spent approximately one year and eight months in custody awaiting finalisation of this matter. 

Shikerete admitted in testimony that he stabbed his baby, but said he used a small knife and stabbed her only once which caused a small scratch. He denied the intention to kill the baby and said he only wanted to hurt her but could not provide a reason for it.  According to Judge Kesslau, the version of the accused that he only caused a scratch is rejected as false beyond reasonable doubt. Further, he said, there is no evidence that the medical staff were negligent and caused the death of the child. 


2023-12-08  Roland Routh

Share on social media