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Angolan guilty of murder

2023-07-25  Roland Routh

Angolan guilty of murder

An Angolan citizen who denied killing his girlfriend at the start of his trial was found guilty of murder with direct intent last week.

His sentence was read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act by Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute.

Johannes Tobias initially informed his neighbours and the police that he killed his live-in girlfriend and showed them the body made a U-turn at the start of his trial and claimed it was the ex-boyfriend of the deceased that killed her.

Tobias, who allegedly told his neighbours and the police that he killed the deceased, disputed that admission at the start of his trial.

He testified that he never informed his neighbours that he killed his girlfriend or that he showed them the body of the victim, and neither did he confess to a police officer that he killed the victim.

Tobias pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act. His Legal Aid instructed lawyer Salomon Kanyemba confirmed the instruction and told the court his client will not provide a plea explanation; he put the onus on the State to prove the allegation.

According to the summary of substantial facts in the indictment, he admitted he attacked the victim inside the shack they shared in Rehoboth’s Block E, and stabbed her 11 times with a knife all over her body.  Miriam Block died at the scene due to the injuries.

Judge Shivute said that although there was no eye witness to the stabbing, the circumstances have many pointers in the direction of the accused. First, she said, the testimonies of the neighbours that he informed them about the killing and the fact that he took them to his house and showed them the body. Also, she said, there is the evidence of the police that he admitted the stabbing to them and the DNA found on the murder weapon and a belt of the accused. “This court having weighed the evidence in its totality, is satisfied that the witnesses are credible and trustworthy despite a few shortcomings in their versions which are not material,” the judge stated and continued: “This court is satisfied that there is no reason for the witnesses to make allegations in order to falsely implicate the accused. The accused’s defence as he placed it before court is a bare denial that cannot reasonably possibly be true and is false beyond reasonable doubt under the circumstances and stands to be rejected.” 

She further said that the factual evidence led by the State is supported by medical and forensic evidence and that she is satisfied that the State proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  

According to her, the evidence of the doctor who performed the autopsy, Desire Gurure, that the deceased had multiple penetrating stab wounds to her vital organs and the force with which the stab wounds were inflicted indicate that Tobias had the intent to kill the deceased.

Tobias will return to court on 28 July for pre-sentencing procedures and remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional facility’s section for trial awaiting inmates. The State is represented by advocate Ethel Ndlovu. 


2023-07-25  Roland Routh

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