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‘Born again’ spear killer slapped with 30 years

2022-06-01  Roland Routh

‘Born again’ spear killer slapped with 30 years
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Roland Routh

Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku yesterday sentenced a man she convicted of murder with direct intent read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act to an effective 30-year jail term.

Petrus Jacobus du Plessis (54) was convicted of murdering his former girlfriend Beverly Kurangera by stabbing her at least seven times with a spear on 25 August 2018 at Old Location in Karibib. She was 26. While he is a first-time offender, the judge said he did not take any responsibility for his actions or show any remorse. 

During submissions on the sentencing, his legal aid lawyer Laura Pack told the court he is sorry for what transpired, and that he became a born again Christian while incarcerated. According to the judge, the fact remains that at the time of the commission of the crime, the accused, at the age of 51 years of age, could have been considered a father figure to the victim, who was 24 years his junior and a married man with a wife and two children. 

“The only reason for the brutal killing of the deceased appears to be because she terminated the relationship,” the judge said.

“The manner in which the deceased was killed was very brutal. It was a senseless and inhumane murder, whereby the accused stabbed an unarmed, defenceless woman at least seven times with a deadly weapon, known as a spear. One would describe this murder as a well-planned attack and cannot be said to have been committed at the spur of the moment. The accused arrived at the deceased’s house, armed with a spear, that evening unexpectedly.”

She further said violent crimes are on the increase in society, and depending on the circumstances, where the accused used any type of weapon, it is one of those crimes where a first offender could and even should be sent to prison. 

“It has been submitted on behalf of the accused that he is a first offender; however, his crime is horrendous. The victim was attacked in the safety of her home,” the judge remarked and said that his circumstances do not outweigh the seriousness of his offence and the interest of society. 

As a result, she said, a severe sentence within the tariff for murder with direct intent will fit the accused and his crime, and it will be fair to society.          

Du Plessis was convicted of the murder of Kurangera and further of assault by threat.  On that count, the judge found that the State proved he threw a spear in the direction of the sister of the victim, Alma Garises, and/or threatened to stab her and the three-year-old son of the victim with the spear.

According to the indictment, he broke into the shack of the victim by kicking open the door with the intent to murder the victim, and then he unlawfully and intentionally killed her. Du Plessis denied the allegation, and instead accused the sister of the victim of the brutal murder.

According to him, he was not the one who stabbed the victim, but Garises did.  Du Plessis claims it was she who stabbed the victim while he held her as a shield when Garises tried to stab him. Judge Usiku said she considered the version of Du Plessis, and found it to be so improbable that it could not be possibly true, and she rejects it as false beyond a reasonable doubt. 

In the end, she sentenced him to 30 years for the murder, and two years for the assault, but she ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

- rrouth@nepc.com.na


2022-06-01  Roland Routh

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