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Alleged Christmas killers appear in High Court

2023-02-20  Roland Routh

Alleged Christmas killers appear in High Court

Two men from the south made separate first appearances on Thursday in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Christi Liebenberg on charges of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, among others.

Laurentius Christiaan (38) is charged with murder and attempted murder for the stabbing death of his girlfriend Johanna Abrahams and the attempted murder of Hendrik Kooper on 25 December 2020 in Koës, outside Keetmanshoop. 

It is alleged by the State that Christiaan heard a rumour that Abrahams, with who he was in a romantic relationship, was involved in an affair with Kooper. When he saw them in conversation in a nearby riverbed in the Soek-en-Kry location in Koës, he attacked them and stabbed Abrahams in her chest and arm, and Kooper once. Abrahams died at the scene due to blood loss and Kooper was treated at a nearby hospital for his stab wound.

Christiaan indicated to the judge that Legal Aid has instructed Tommy Andima to represent him. However, Andima was not in court. The judge then postponed the matter to 16 March and told Christiaan, who is on bail, to contact Andima and make sure that he is in court on that date.

Also making his first appearance before Judge Liebenberg was Johannes Claasen on charges of murder, attempted murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, all read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.

It is alleged by the State that Claasen unlawfully and intentionally killed Ridensia Rolinda Lamberth on 25 December 2020 in Keetmanshoop, by stabbing her in the chest with a knife. 

On the second count, it is alleged that he stabbed his one-year-old daughter Juanitha Claasen at least three times in the neck and upper chest area with the intention to kill her. 

On the third count, it is alleged that he hit the deceased during March 2020 with a fist or open hand causing her to suffer bruises and swelling around the eye. 

His Legal Aid lawyer Meriam Kandoni told the judge that although her client was never treated for mental illness, it has become obvious during her interview with him that he sees things that does not exist. 

She thus applied for him to be seen by a psychiatrist, to determine his ability to understand his wrongdoings and stand trial. The judge ordered that Claasen must be seen by two psychiatrists, one in the employment of the State and one in private practice. 

The matter was postponed to 16 March. 

He is in custody at the section for trial awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility. Deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef appeared for the State in both matters.

2023-02-20  Roland Routh

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