A Windhoek City Police officer, who was on trial for the killing of his wife when he reportedly ran her over with a car in 2015, was acquitted yesterday.
The acquittal in the Windhoek Regional Court was on grounds the State was not convincing.
Johannes Sheetekela Werner (36) was tried on a charge of murder with an alternative count of culpable homicide, a count of reckless driving and failure to report an accident – counts he was found to be not guilty of.
Magistrate Surita Savage ruled the State failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt Werner’s guilt and the intent to kill his wife Taleni Hamukwaya Werner (29) on 24 April 2015.
“Unfortunately, there is no evidence before the court, as to how the deceased’s death was caused. There is only speculations and possibilities. The only versions before the court are those of the accused and State witness one (Eliphas),” said Savage before finding Werner not guilty on all charges.
According to the post-mortem, Taleni’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head. Dr Ettiene Vermaak who testified during the trial said such trauma could be caused by falling on a tar road or pavement.
During the trial, Johannes testified on the date in question, he went home that evening and found the house locked. Upon enquiry from his children, they informed him that his wife had locked the house.
After he was denied access into the house, he called his colleague Rosalia Eliphas to ask a place to stay for the night.
He denied his relationship with Eliphas went beyond normal relationships between colleagues. Eliphas testified that Johannes wanted to start an affair with her.
It was his testimony that while standing with Eliphas in Donkerhok, Windhoek, collecting the key to her room, his wife then suddenly appeared on the scene. She slapped Eliphas in the face and accused her of breaking up their marriage.
Johannes said Eliphas ran around the car with his wife in pursuit. As the chasing was ongoing, Johannes was seated in his vehicle.
Eliphas allegedly managed to get into the car in order to be safe from the late Taleni. As he drove off, the door on the driver’s side was still open, but it shut, as the car started moving, he said.
Johannes said he heard a sound and as he looked back, he saw his wife lying in the street in his car’s rear-view mirror. He turned around, went to pick her up, and drove to the house of a cousin before he took her to a hospital in the city.
Taleni died four days later from the injuries she sustained from the incident.
Defence counsel Mbanga
Siyomunji represented Johannes.
Caption: (Werner): A free man…Johannes Sheetekela Werner.