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Alleged killer of elderly farmer denies charges

2019-08-06  Roland Routh

Alleged killer of elderly farmer denies charges

WINDHOEK – A 31-year-old man who was only employed for about two weeks by an elderly, white farmer near Outjo and then allegedly killed and robbed his employer, pleaded not guilty to all the charges that he faces in the Windhoek High Court before Acting Judge Orben Sibeya.

Johannes Katanga denied that he killed and robbed 71-year-old Karl-Heinz Kossmann on farm Aasvöelkrans in the Outjo District on September 25, 2017.

According to the indictment, Katanga fired several shots at the deceased with his (deceased’s) own firearm, whereafter he tied his hands behind his back with wire and continued to assault him with sticks, stones and other unknown weapons.

As a result the deceased suffered a fractured sternum and 17 broken ribs and the accused then stole N$1 737 in cash, R95, a cellphone, one .38 Astra revolver, one 9mm PAR. Mauser pistol and magazine, 11 live bullets and two spent cartridges.

He also tried to steal a DVD player, a briefcase, body spray, recharge vouchers, USB, a disc player with amplifier and speakers, pliers, UPS, several live bullets of different caliber, two laptops and one motor vehicle.

He however had to leave the loot behind when neighbouring farmers came to the rescue of the victim after being alerted by a farmworker about shots being fired in the farmhouse.
He managed to flee on foot with the items first listed.

Yesterday one of the neighbours, Irene Otto, testified that she was at her farm when Anselm Mukuve, one her the deceased’s employees, arrived at her farm and reported that he heard several gunshots coming from the residence of the deceased.
She and her sister then drove to the farm of the deceased and when they arrived at the gate to the farm, her sister fired two to three warning shots in the air to warn whoever was there, that they were on their way.

Asked why her sister fired the shots, the witness said they were two elderly women and were scared.
When they arrived at the farmhouse, Otto said, they observed bloody drag marks outside the house and when they entered, they found more bloody drag marks inside the house.

Otto further testified that she and her sister and one of her employees then found the victim in a room where he lay on his back with his hands tied behind his back.

“He immediately asked us to untie his hands as he was hurting very bad,” Otto told the court.
She further said that they then managed to lift the deceased up and cut loose the wires that bound him.
The witness further recounted that when she tried to put a pillow under the head of the deceased, her hand was drenched in blood and the deceased told them that he was hit unexpectedly from behind.
When they however enquired from him who did it to him, he became disoriented and spoke in a confused manner.

According to Otto they could observe a lot of blood and that it seemed that the knee of the deceased was laying at an awkward angle, almost as if it were severed from the rest of his body.
The witness further said that the police were called and she went to meet them at a gate used to drive to Outjo and she waited with Kossmann for the ambulance to arrive.

When the paramedics arrived, they removed the coverall jacket the deceased was wearing and she observed three welts on his left rib cage and in the ambulance when the deceased lifted up his arm she could see blood flowing from a wound on his upper arm.

Katanga is represented by Mwala Siambango on instructions of legal aid and the prosecution by Advocate Timo Itula.

The trial continues today and Katanga remains in custody.

2019-08-06  Roland Routh

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