Oshakati High Court Judge Johanna Salionga rejected a plea of self-defence by a man accused of murdering his drinking buddy and convicted him of murder with direct intent. The judge further said that while the deceased was the initial aggressor, at the time of the stabbing, he had removed the knife from the deceased and was thus no longer in imminent danger.
“The accused was in control when he succeeded in averting the danger, by dispossessing the deceased of the knife. He had no reason to believe his life was in danger. The moment the imminent danger ceased to exist, any attack thereafter amounts to revenge and not self-defence,” judge Salionga said when she convicted Ahas Ndakondja Sindjala Thomas.
She further said that the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Thomas intended to bring about the death of the deceased, identified as Ahas Nampila, and subjectively foresaw death as a substantial possibility and that he grossly exceeded the bounds of self-defence when he repeatedly stabbed the undefended victim with a dangerous weapon in vengeance or retaliation.
According to the evidence presented, the incident happened at a cuca shop at the Okamule village when the deceased, Thomas and two other men contributed money to buy a bottle of wine. After they bought the wine, the deceased took the wine and walked away and the deceased followed him. A scuffle then ensued and the accused was stabbed on his left wrist with an Okapi knife by the deceased.
They were then separated and proceeded to consume the wine, although the accused did not partake. Another scuffle ensued shortly thereafter and Thomas managed to wrestle the knife away from the deceased and started stabbing him several times on the body while saying “Ahas I’m stabbing you, I’m stabbing you.” Thereafter, he threw the knife on the ground and left. The deceased died at the Oshakati Hospital due to the injuries from the stabbing.
According to judge Salionga, she took into consideration the circumstances of the attack and the imminent danger the accused faced when confronted with the knife. However, she said, there is evidence that he succeeded in removing the knife from the deceased, was in control of the knife and stabbed the deceased several times. Furthermore, she said, the accused was not honest in his evidence and was tailor-made to suit his
The accused was represented by Beatrix Boois and the State by Martha Nghiyoonanye.