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Alleged  self-admitted killer denies murder

2022-11-07  Roland Routh

Alleged  self-admitted killer denies murder

Roland Routh

An Angolan national, who allegedly informed his neighbours he killed his live-in girlfriend and showed them the body, is now disputing that admission.

Johannes Tobias (50) is now claiming he never informed his neighbours that he killed his girlfriend or that he showed them the body of the victim, and neither did he confess to a police officer that he killed the victim.

Tobias pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, before Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute. His Legal Aid lawyer Salomon Kanyemba confirmed the instruction and told the court his client will not provide a plea explanation; he put the onus on the State to prove the allegation.

It is alleged by the State that Tobias killed Miriam Block, with whom he was in an intimate relationship, on 1 July 2021. According to the summary of substantial facts in the indictment, he admitted he attacked the victim inside the shack they shared in Rehoboth’s Block E, and stabbed her 11 times with a knife all over her body.  Block died at the scene due to the injuries.

After informing his neighbours that he killed the victim and showing them her body, he handed himself over at the police station. One of the neighbours, Thresia Pilukeni, testified that she knew the accused well, as he used to live with her. 

On the night in question, she said, Tobias knocked at her front door and asked to talk to her. When she went to him, he told her “I am tired; I’m finished”.  When she asked him what he meant by that, and why he is full of blood and sand; he told her that he killed his girlfriend and told her to see. 

According to her, she then collected three young women who were with her, and they went to his shack, where they found the victim dead, kneeling with her head on a chair. She further told the court she then summoned the police, who arrived a short while later.

One of the officers who were first on the scene, Sergeant Paulus Shangula, testified that when he arrived at the murder scene, he found the victim. Shanguala was told the suspect is the boyfriend, who was wearing red overalls.

 After inspecting the scene, he went back to the charge officer, where he encountered the accused, who informed him in Oshiwambo that he killed his girlfriend.  He denied claims by Tobias that he told the officer he wanted to report a break-in during which his girlfriend was killed. 

According to the officer, when he arrived at the scene, he found the door to the shack open with the padlock hanging on the chain with the key still inside.  During questioning by Ethel Ndlovu, for the prosecution, he informed the court that he explained to Tobias his rights, including the right not to incriminate himself; the right to legal representation and the right to apply formally for bail, despite Tobias’ denial that his rights were explained to him. The trial continues today, and Tobias remains in custody at the section for trial awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.  -

2022-11-07  Roland Routh

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