WINDHOEK - The trial of Rodney Ricardo Rooi accused of murdering his 19-year-old girlfriend and mother of his child, Brigitta Smith, by stabbing her seven times in the chest for refusing to spend the night with him was postponed to April next year by the Windhoek High Court.
The postponement came about after Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka and the lawyers involved in the matter could not find any dates soon because of congested diaries.
Mbanga Siyomunji, the State funded lawyer for Rooi informed the judge that he is fully booked until April 22 when he has an opening until April 30. State Advocate Henry Muhongo informed the judge that although he will be involved with another matter in the High Court during that time, he will make himself available as he has a co-counsel in that matter.
Rooi who was granted bail of N$4000 in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court after his arrest, but cannot afford to pay it, yesterday asked the court to reduce the bail amount. Judge Siboleka however refused the application after Muhongo objected.
He told the court such an application cannot be sprung onto the court in such a fashion without them having insight into the reasons the magistrate granted bail in the first place and the reason for the amount set as bail amount. Judge Siboleka agreed with Muhongo and went to the extent of saying bail should not be granted for serious offences like murder in the first place.
Rooi pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder read with the Domestic Violence Act and a charge of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice when his trial started last week.
The State alleges that during the late night hours of February 25 or the early morning hours of February 26, 2017, Rooi went to the deceased at the residence of her mother in the New Extension location in Aroab in the district of Keetmanshoop and asked her to accompany him back to his residence to spend the night, but she declined. He then stabbed her several times (approximately seven times) with a knife where after he fled the scene and hid the knife in the ground with the intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. The deceased was then taken to a nearby medical centre, but died shortly after arrival due to a loss of blood caused by a stab wound to the heart.
Rooi remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial awaiting inmates.