Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg last week allocated the murder trial of a former senior police officer attached to the Women and Child Protection Unit in Keetmanshoop to Judge Dinnah Usiku, who is based at the Windhoek Central Prison.
This came after Morgan Brian Plaatjie’s lawyer Boris Isaacks and deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef informed the court that there are no more outstanding issues.
Plaatjie, a former detective warrant officer, has been seen by a psychiatrist in the employ of the State and a private psychiatrist, and was declared fit to stand trial. A further psychological assessment by a psychiatrist of their choice was abandoned after they could not secure the services of a psychiatrist.
Judge Liebenberg postponed the matter to 1 June for Judge Usiku to arrange trial dates for Plaatjie, who will face charges of housebreaking with the intent to murder and murder – read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act – attempted murder, two counts of contravening the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, contravening a protection order, one count of assault by threat, and one count of malicious damage to property, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.
It is alleged by the State that during the period 25 to 26 June 2021 in Keetmanshoop, the accused broke down the front door of Yvette Sharon Louw’s house by kicking it open with the intent to murder her, and did then and there unlawfully and intentionally kill her by stabbing her several times with a knife.
The attempted murder charge relates to an incident on the same date when he unlawfully and intentionally assaulted Louw’s boyfriend Dawid Jansen by stabbing him multiple times with the intention to murder him.
With regards to contravening a protection order, it is alleged that Plaatjie contravened the provisions of a protection order Louw had taken out against him on two occasions.
The assault by threat charge is in relation to an incident when the accused allegedly earlier threatened to kill or beat the deceased in circumstances where she believed he had the intention and means to carry out his threat, and caused her to flee her residence.
The malicious damage charge reflects an incident when he unlawfully and intentionally destroyed her TV set. According to the summary of substantial facts in the indictment, the accused and Louw were involved in a romantic relationship, from which two children were born. However, two years before her death, she terminated the relationship, and moved into her own residence in Keetmanshoop’s Tseiblaagte residential area.
Due to ongoing assaults and threats of assault by Plaatjie, Louw applied and obtained a protection order against him, valid until August 2022. He, however, violated the protection order on 7 May 2021 when he came to her house and insulted and threatened her as well as damaged her TV set. She opened a criminal case against him, and he was arrested and granted bail.
It is further stated that the accused again went to Louw’s house during the late-night hours of 25 June 2021, where he found her and her new boyfriend, Jansen. He started stabbing the boyfriend, causing him to flee. He, thereafter, proceeded to attack Louw by stabbing her several times with a knife, causing her to seek shelter. The accused allegedly broke down the door of the toilet, where she had locked herself in, and continued to stab Louw until she collapsed.
He then called the police and reported that he had killed her. The police arrived, and took her to hospital. She died there due to blood loss and injuries caused by the stab wounds.
Plaatjie remains in custody at the Seeis police station.