A police officer, who arrested a murder accused farmworker from Tses in the //Kharas region in 2017, yesterday told the Windhoek High Court that the suspect admitted to the killing.
Sergeant Gerhard Sekgele testified before Judge Naomi Shivute that the accused, Thomas Klein Pieterson, confessed to the murder of Josef Olifand during November 2017 while acting in self-defence.
In January this year, Pieterson denied guilt on all four charges. He is accused of murder, robbery, defeating the course of justice and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) after allegedly murdering Olifand and dragged his body behind a car to dump it away from the crime scene between 4-12 November.
It is further alleged by the State that after the body was discovered by passersby some eight days after the murder, Pieterson again dragged the body from the scene and hid it in a ditch, where he covered it with rocks.
It is further alleged that the accused used the vehicle of the deceased to ferry passengers for money, which is in contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, when he allegedly drove two paying passengers to Mariental from the farm he was employed at. The vehicle, however, broke down en route and Pieterson abandoned it.
With regards to the murder charge, he offered a blank denial and did not offer any plea explanation. However, on the robbery charge, his State-funded lawyer Titus Mbaeva informed the court that they regard it as a duplication of the murder charge.
He further denied dragging the deceased with the car or displacing the corpse for a second time. Pieterson further questioned the charges on the POCA count and said it does not specify the offences alleged.
Sekgele testified that after the decomposed body of the victim was found on 12 November 2017, he was summoned to the scene, where he found several people, including the accused.
After the accused was pointed out to him as someone wearing shoes that correspond to shoe prints found at the scene, he approached him and introduced himself as a police officer.
According to the officer, he then conducted a body search on Pieterson and found the phone, sim card, modulator and SD card. Pieterson was then immediately arrested.
They proceeded to the farm where the murder allegedly took place and upon a search, the officer came upon a bloody axe, a bloody sledgehammer and some blood pools.
After they returned to the Tses Police Station, Sekgele told the court he interviewed Pieterson in the company of two of his colleagues, one of which he recorded the interview with his cell phone. It was during the interview that Pieterson told him that he hit the deceased with the sledgehammer on his head and tied him with wire around his neck to the vehicle. He allegedly dragged him to where the body was found, the court heard.
Mbaeva, during cross-examination, told the officer that his client denied the admissions and that the blood found at his residence on the farm was that of a donkey he had slaughtered. The case continues today.
2020-06-18 09:51:49 | 3 months ago