A farmworker from Omaheke region, who had admitted to murdering his girlfriend by stabbing her 13 times and crushing her skull with an axe during October 2016, has been found guilty of the rape and attempted murder of another woman.
Windhoek High Court acting Judge Eileen Rakow convicted the 29-year-old Benedictus Koper for raping and attempting to murder another woman at Karasburg in November 2014. Koper, who had denied the charges at the start of his trial, has also been convicted of murdering his girlfriend and defeating the course of justice.
Koper had admitted to murdering Kalista Erastus who was 25 at the time at farm Vuurslag in the Gobabis district on 3 October 2016. He had also admitted to setting alight the clothes of the victim to frustrate the murder investigations.
After he had denied guilt on the remaining charges of rape and attempted murder the State proceeded to call witnesses against him.
Judge Rakow found on Friday last week that the State proved allegations of rape and attempted murder against Koper. According to the judge, although the complainant was a single witness, she accepted her testimony as satisfactory and truthful.
She further said that the complainant testified that she knew the accused well as he was like a child in their home and that they often fed him. The judge further said the complainant’s evidence was that there was ample light for her to see who attacked her.
“The complainant testified that she recognised the accused when he approached her. She could see his face in the light that was shining from the light pole in front of a certain Joseph Kooper’s house and knew his voice and she recognised it when he told her that it was their night tonight,” the judge stated.
She went on to say that in her evaluation of the complainant’s evidence she was satisfied she was truthful even though she was under the influence of alcohol when the rape took place. With regard to the attempted murder charge, the judge said the doctor who examined her testified that the bruising on the neck of the complainant was caused by substantial force to the neck.
The judge further found the testimony of a second witness for the State to be credible and reliable. The witness had testified that she found the victim partly dressed, bloody and in a state of confusion.
The witness also testified that she found the accused covered with dust and he requested water to wash blood off his hands.
The matter will return to court on 5 August for pre-sentencing procedures, while Koper remains in custody. He is represented by Titus Iipumbu, while Hezekiel Ipinge appears for the prosecution.