A 23-year-old man from Gcigco village in the Rundu district was last week convicted of murder after assaulting his mother with a homemade donkey leash and kicking her, causing her death.
Kandjimi Katjotjo Haingura initially pleaded guilty to the charge, but the court entered a plea of not guilty as he said he did not intend to kill his mother, but to “only teach her a lesson”.
Judge President Petrus Damaseb, who is presiding over the Circular Court in Rundu, found that the accused should have foreseen that he could cause the death of Behatta Nipembe (57) on 12 June 2020 when he assaulted her. While the accused admitted that he assaulted his mother, he said he only hit her three times with a donkey leash, and she fell to the ground. After she got up, he only slapped her three times on her left cheek, and only kicked her three times on her
ribs. Nipembe died as a result of a ruptured liver. The doctor who performed the autopsy told the court the rupture was consistent with excessive force from repeated kicking.
An eyewitness to the assault told the court the convict kicked Nipembe repeatedly on the area which covers the liver. In his defence, the man, who claims to be 23 years old although he does not know when he was born, said he did not know the area where he kicked the deceased was a sensitive area where vital organs might be situated and
that his mother could succumb to the
injuries he inflicted. He further told the court that he assaulted his mother because she provoked him by accusing him of riding other people’s donkeys, and causing them to get lost.
Haingura also denied that he kicked Nipembe with safety boots, but claimed that he was wearing tekkies. However, the eyewitness was adamant that the accused was wearing safety boots, and the doctor also testified that the deceased was struck with excessive force.
Damaseb said he will accept the convict’s version that he wore tekkies at the time of the assault, and only kicked her three times and not six as was recounted by the eyewitness.
However, the judge said the extent of the injury and the doctor’s evidence that even with the best medical care in the world it would have been impossible for Nipembe to survive, showed that the attack was a vicious one. “Nothing, therefore, changes, whether the accused was wearing safety boots or tekkies, or whether he kicked the deceased three or six times,” Damaseb stressed.
According to the judge, the accused testified that Nipembe was in the habit of nagging him, and the assault on her was a clear reaction to what he perceived as her constant nagging. In other words, “it was his settled intent to teach the deceased a lesson, and he was indifferent to whether it may result in her death”.
The State was represented by Ruben Shileka, and the accused by Legal Aid lawyer Petrus Hango. - firstname.lastname@example.org