WINDHOEK - A former police officer convicted of stabbing his two sons to death in April 2014 and two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act in the Windhoek High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility by Judge Dinah Usiku wants the court to show him mercy.
Albertus Ganeb, 33, who appeared in person after he fired three State funded lawyers, asked Judge Usiku to sentence him to 15 years for each murder and one year for each assault conviction. He further wants the court to order that half of the sentence on the second murder conviction and the sentences on the assault conviction run concurrent with the sentence on the first murder conviction. All-in-all he wants the judge to sentence him to a prison term of 22 and a half years. He was convicted of stabbing his seven-year-old son to death on April 25, 2014 and also of stabbing his four-year-old son at least six times on his body and head causing the boy to die six days later in hospital.
He was further convicted of assaulting the mother of the deceased boys, Romilly Swartz once in October 2013 and again in 2014. Ganeb denied all the allegations at the start of his trial and claimed he was so heavily under the influence of intoxicating liquor that he has no recollection of what had happened.
During submissions of the sentence yesterday, Ganeb told the judge that his relationship with Swartz was characterised by ups and downs. Questioned by State Advocate Palmer Khumalo if meant that it was violent, Ganeb said it was more financially. He however, denied that he ever turned violent toward Swartz despite evidence to the contrary.
While he respected the court’s decision, Ganeb said he does not remember having killed his own children. “I failed drastically in my duty as a father and as the head of a family to protect those I love and as a result two lives were lost,” Ganeb said and continued: “It is not easy to stay each and every day with the thought of not getting the full picture together of what happened on that fateful night.
The pain and sleepless nights I endure is pure hell.” He went on to say it is a living hell for him to know that he had a part in the death of his sons as he left them “unguarded” and not being there at the time of their death.
Khumalo asked the court to impose the most severe punishment available which is life imprisonment. He asked Judge Usiku to sentence Ganeb to two life sentences for the murders and three years each for the assaults. He left the decision whether the sentences should run concurrently or not in the hands of the court.
According to Khumalo, the convict does not deserve mercy as he showed no mercy when he killed two innocent children for no reason at all. He further said the moral blameworthiness of Ganeb is sky high as he cut short the lives of two innocent children – his own children for that matter - to punish their mother because he suspected her of having another boyfriend. He asked the court to show its aversion to such conduct by imposing a hefty sentence to show society that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
The Judge reserved her judgment on sentence until April 17 at 09h00.