The trial of two Zimbabwean citizens, accused of murdering the biological daughter of the husband, is scheduled to start in January next year, Windhoek High Court Judge Claudia Claasen, who will preside over the trial, announced yesterday.
The judge said that due to full schedules on the part of the prosecution, the defence and her diary, they could come up with a date sooner.
Defence lawyers Milton Engelbrecht and Mbanga Siyomunji, who will represent Edward Nkata (39) and Caroline Nkata (38), respectively, and deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef concurred with the judge.
It is alleged the pair assaulted Edward’s nine-year-old daughter Akundaishe Natalie Chipomho from a previous relationship to death, burnt her body and dumped it in a rubbish bin in Windhoek North between 23 and 25 January 2020.
The Nkatas are facing counts of murder, defeating or obstructing the course of justice, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, fraud and remaining in Namibia after the expiry of their visitor entry permits.
According to the indictment, on the charge of attempted murder, the State is alleging the couple also tried to kill Edward’s 11-year-old son by hitting him with a belt and unknown object all over his body between 20 and 22 January 2020.
However, he survived the ordeal.
On the charge of obstructing the course of justice, the State is alleging the couple removed Chipomho’s body from their home, dumped it in a municipal skip and set it alight in an attempt to evade prosecution.
The indictment further indicates the accused defrauded Progress Private School of N$6 000.
It is alleged Caroline indicated to the school, where she was employed as a teacher, that Chipomho and an 11-year-old minor were her biological children.
Thus, the minor children were not required to pay school fees by virtue of her being an employee at the school.
The couple is also accused of forging school reports for the children.
The State is further accusing the Nkatas of overstaying in the country for seven months after their employment permits have expired.
The couple was initially charged alongside Chipomho’s mother Rachael Kureva (39) but the prosecutor general decided not to prosecute her due to lack of evidence.
During the accused’s first appearance in court, Caroline, who admitted guilt, confessed her husband (Edward) beat Chipomho.
She was allegedly home when the victim was being beaten.
After the child died from being assaulted, her husband forced her to help him dispose of the girl’s body in a rubbish skip.
It was her testimony that he further forced her to accompany him to buy paraffin, dispose of the body and set it alight.
The Nkatas were spotted dragging a wheelie bin in the eastern direction of Ooievaar Street in the Rhino Park area around 21h00, and a witness felt it was suspicious because it was at night.
The couple was caught on a surveillance camera in the area.