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Alleged stone killer testifies in own defence

2023-07-28  Roland Routh

Alleged stone killer testifies in own defence

A 38-year-old man from Aranos in the Mariental District on Wednesday denied that he intended to kill his 20-year-old girlfriend when he hit her with a stone during an argument.

Jeremias Nowaseb pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, rape and assault, all read with provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, as well as defeating or obstructing the course of justice, before Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku at the start of his trial.

He is accused of killing his 20-year-old girlfriend and mother to his infant child with 18 blows to the head with a stone, crushing her skull. The deceased died on the scene due to blunt force injuries to the brain. It is alleged by the State that during the night of 31 October 2020 and 1 November 2020, the accused and Christina Kooper, with whom he was in a romantic relationship, got into an argument because he heard rumours that she had sexual intercourse with another man or men. After they visited a shebeen at the settlement, they started to argue and the accused slapped the deceased in her face, which is the cause of the assault charge. On their way home, the indictment read, the accused raped the deceased to ascertain whether the rumours were true or not. After raping the deceased, the indictment states, the accused concluded that the deceased was indeed unfaithful to him and he proceeded to beat her with a stone or stones on the head. After killing the deceased, he allegedly reported to the police that the deceased was missing and he pointed them to a spot where he apparently last saw the deceased. The report and the pointing out of the spot constitute the charge of defeating the course of justice.

 The police maintain that it was done to frustrate their investigations into the disappearance and murder of the deceased and to protect him from prosecution. 

The deceased’s decomposed body was found a few days later.

After the State closed its case, Nowaseb took to the stand to narrate what happened on that fateful day.

According to him, he and the deceased were sitting under a tree drinking when he confronted her about rumours that she was sleeping with strange men during daylight hours. He denied assaulting the deceased and told the court that he asked the deceased why she was doing this to him as they were staying very nicely together. 

At that stage, he said, the deceased became angry and pointed him with her finger in the face and also pushed him around. According to Nowaseb, he did not do anything in return, but the deceased then picked up a stone and hit him with it. 

“She did not want to stop hitting me so I grabbed the stone from her and hit her with it,” he said and continued: After I hit her with the stone, the fighting stopped. 

Nowaseb pleaded not guilty to the charges and said he acted in self-defence when he killed the deceased. According to him, he and the deceased were throwing each other with stones during their argument and she died as a result. His Legal Aid lawyer, Eliaser Shikwa, confirmed that the pleas are in accordance with his instructions.

The doctor who conducted the autopsy on the deceased confirmed to the court that the cause of death was indeed blunt impact injuries to the skull. Doctor Simasiku Kabandje said that he observed multiple – at least 18 – lacerations to the skull and several skull fractures including subdermal bleeding to the skull. He attributed this to blows to the skull with jagged rocks.

The State is represented by Advocate Ethel Ndlovu.


2023-07-28  Roland Routh

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