ANTONIUS Semete, who was accused of murdering his 33-year-old uncle by hitting him with an axe handle on the head and fracturing his skull earlier this year, was convicted of murder with direct intent read with the provisions of Combating of Domestic Violence Act.
Judge President (JP) Petrus Damaseb convicted Semete (26) in the Rundu Circular Court on Monday. He pleaded guilty at the start of his trial, but the court, instead, entered a plea of not guilty after he did not admit all the elements of the offence. Semete told the court he did not intend to kill Adolf Siremo on 1 January 2022 at Rupara Village in the district of Rundu when he assaulted him with an axe handle.
During testimony in his own defence, Semete told the court that on the day in question, he drank a traditional drink called “Katokere” and he could not remember much of what happened. However, he said, during the night, he woke up in the kitchen area of the homestead and went to ask his grandmother for a lamp to search for some money he could not find inside his hut, but she refused.
At that stage, he said, Siremo arrived home and told him he should buy his own lamp as that lamp was not his. Siremo apparently also told him to leave and go to his mother’s place. He further said Siremo then approached him while picking up a wooden dropper and threatened to beat him and he reached for
his traditional axe and started clubbing him. He further stated that when he reached for the axe, he heard the sharp metal part fall off. He further testified that he was not well. “I felt like a crazy person. I was drunk,” he told the court. While the only issue to decide is whether or not the accused was so heavily intoxicated that he did not know what he was doing when he bludgeoned Siremo to death, the judge said, it is only necessary to determine his state of mind when he killed the uncle.
According to Damaseb, the evidence led at the trial shows beyond a reasonable doubt that when he woke up in the kitchen, he engaged in normal conversation,
and remembers in granular detail what he did or did not do or say.
“What is most telling in his admission under oath is that when he woke up, he knew and appreciated what he was doing,” the JP stated and continued: “All this shows that
the accused’s defence of intoxication is bogus and an afterthought.
The judge further stated that the attack on Siremo was extremely vicious and sustained, “The accused cracked the skull of the deceased and evidence was led that his brain matter was oozing out of his skull”.
“The nature of the force used and the extent of the injuries show that the clubbing of the deceased to the head was done with the direct intention to kill him,” Damaseb concluded.