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Father denies drowning own daughter

2019-07-03  Roland Routh

Father denies drowning own daughter

WINDHOEK - An NDF soldier who is accused of murdering his biological daughter by drowning her in the Goreangab Dam in February 2017 denied all charges against him yesterday.
He appeared before Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya.  

Gabriel Tulinana David is charged with the murder of five-year-old Cornelia David. 
He is also facing a charge for assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, theft and malicious damage to property.

According to the charge sheet, David fetched the child from her mother on Sunday, February 19, 2017 with the aim of taking her shopping. 

He was supposed to bring the child back the same day, but he did not return the deceased and instead murdered her by throwing her into the Goreangab Dam causing her to drown. 

Before that, he allegedly stole two cellphones with their SIM cards from the mother of the deceased, Kornelia Thomas during December 2016 and also in December 2016 stole another cellphone and SIM card from Thomas and intentionally damaged it by throwing it on the ground and destroying the SIM card by chewing it. 

On January 26, 2017 David allegedly assaulted Thomas by beating her with fists on her neck, face and mouth and by hitting her with his forehead and kicking her on her arm. 

During a bail application early this year, David denied all the allegations and said the cellphones belonged to him as he bought it for Thomas and that he merely defended himself when he hit her with his forehead as she tried to stab him with a knife. 

With regards to the murder charge, he told the court that on that fateful day, he fetched his daughter from her mother in order to do some shopping for her. 

On their way back, they had to cross the dam along a pipe that stretched over the dam, which had some water in it. 

As he had plastic bags with shopping in his hand, he told the child to wait for him about five meters from the edge of the water and took the bags across. 

When he returned to fetch the girl she was nowhere to be seen, David said and continued that he then started to search for the child frantically. 

However, he said, this was in vain as he could not find her and he then went to report to the mother of the child that she is missing. 

The mother of the child and the complainant in the other charges yesterday told the court that David first contacted her via text message on February 22, wherein he told her that her child was dead and that it was her fault. 

She further testified that he then sent her a “call me request” the following Monday and when she returned his call, he told her that the child is with him at the Wanaheda Playground and the next night visited her at the shebeen she is employed where he told her that if she wanted to see her child again she must go with him, but she told him she is not allowed to leave the shebeen unattended. 

The trial continues and David remains in custody after a late bail application was refused by Acting Judge Kobus Miller.

State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi is prosecuting and David is represented by Mbanga Siyomunji on instructions of Legal Aid.

2019-07-03  Roland Routh

Tags: Khomas
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