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‘Prison is also a home’: Axe murder accused

2023-10-05  Roland Routh

‘Prison is also a home’: Axe murder accused

A man accused of bludgeoning his girlfriend and mother of his child to death with an axe handle allegedly told his employer that prison is also a home when she questioned him about the tragic incident.

State advocate Basson Lilongwe on Tuesday put it to David Mwahondamange Johannes that several witnesses overheard him saying to someone on the phone that he “finished” the deceased Hilya Namutenya Shiku (28) or that he killed her because he was tired of her nonsense. 

Lilongwe said Shiku’s 14-year-old son told the court in no uncertain terms that he (Johannes) questioned him about men his mother allegedly brought to their house. 

Johannes denied all the allegations contained in the witnesses’ statements about his alleged conduct.

Johannes testified that he only called his brother to inform him that he and Shiku fought and that he injured her.

State’s allegations

Johannes is being charged with a count of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act. The charge is in relation to the death of his girlfriend Shiku on 30 October 2020 at home at Oohambo dhaNehale informal settlement in Windhoek. 

It is alleged by the state that Johannes killed Shiku with whom he was in a romantic relationship by hitting her multiple times on the head and body with an axe handle. He is also accused of assaulting her prior to killing her and of assaulting a neighbour who came to her assistance. 

According to the indictment, Johannes suspected that Shiku was having relations with other men and when he arrived home from work on 30 October 2020, an argument erupted between them and he assaulted her. 

When a neighbour came to Shiku’s assistance, he pushed her out of the way and told her “Meme, you don’t know me” and then dragged Shiku by her hair inside their residence and locked the two of them inside their room. 

While inside the residence, he hit Shiku multiple times with the axe handle, the indictment reads.


Johannes’ defence

Johannes pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial and claimed that he accidentally killed Shiku while he was defending himself against an assault by her. He told the court that he and Shiku got involved in an argument and she was the one who assaulted him first with the axe handle. 

According to him, he was hit once on the head when he fell down and once on his right shin by Shiku. He then got hold of the handle from her and hit her on the head with it, but cannot remember how many times. 

On a question from his Legal Aid appointed lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji, on why he hit Shiku, he said that he was angry, in pain and drunk. 

Lilongwe, on the other hand, disputed the accused’s version as an outright lie and that he was injured on his head and shin when community members stopped him from running away and hit him on the head with a stone.

He further said the accused was now trying to shift the blame on Shiku since they were the only ones in the room when she was killed. 

Windhoek High Court acting judge Philanda Christiaan postponed the matter to 26 October for arguments on the verdict. 

Johannes will remain in custody at the section for trial awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

Cation: Not intentional… Murder accused David Mwahondamange Johannes.

Photo: Roland Routh

2023-10-05  Roland Routh

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