A 28-year-old man, who admitted he murdered and robbed his former Chinese employer and that he burned some of the victim’s belongings in an effort to defeat the ends of justice, was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment yesterday.
“Although the accused person is a first offender who pleaded guilty to the charges contained in the indictment, he was not merciful to his victim when he was executing his brutal and dastardly acts,” Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute said when she imposed the sentence on Tuafeni Thomas.
Thomas pleaded guilty to charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice at the start of his trial.
He admitted he killed Yanhui Sun (34), a Chinese national who managed a brickmaking factory in Rehoboth on 1 May last year by beating him with a brick on his head, stabbing him three times on his head, neck and back and tying his legs to his arms.
He also admitted he stuffed a cloth in the mouth of the victim.
He further admitted he robbed Sun of N$3 000 in cash, a cell phone and two SIM cards, a wallet, a black pocketbook, an ATM bank card, and a driver’s license.
Thomas also admitted that he destroyed or damaged the wallet, clothes and a pair of boots of the victim by burning it, and that he threw away the brick he used to hit the victim, together with the cellphone and two SIM cards, the identity document and ATM bank card of the victim.
The State accepted the plea and Tomas was consequently convicted on his admissions.
The judge remarked that Thomas committed heinous offences, especially murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances, and that the offences were pre-meditated.
“The accused has deprived the victim of his precious life. He has also deprived the victim’s family of their beloved husband and father, who was their only breadwinner. He has caused the family untoward hardship of having to fend for themselves in the absence of source of support and comfort. One can hardly imagine the trauma the family went through,” the judge also said.
“The callous manner in which he butchered an innocent man for the flimsiest of reasons demonstrates that the accused has no respect for human life. He, therefore, deserves to be taken out of society for a considerable period of time in the best interests of society and its inhabitants.”
She further said that the seriousness of the offences, particularly murder and robbery and the horrific circumstances under which the offences were committed by far overshadowed the accused’s personal circumstances and sentenced him to 30 years for murder, 10 years for robbery and two years for attempting to defeat the course of justice.
She, however, ordered that the sentences are to run concurrently.
Thomas was represented by legal aid lawyer Julian Kavejandja and the State by Ethel Ndlovu.