WINDHOEK – Double murder accused Petrus Paai yesterday abandoned his claim of self-defence in the killing of one of his victims, but asked the High Court to only convict him for culpable homicide.
In his submission issued through his state-funded lawyer Titus Mbaeva on the verdict to be delivered, he conceded that his claim of self-defence cannot stand in the killing of Kapenaweholenge Heliki Hamutenya on June 11, 2016 as the latter was no longer a threat to him when he stabbed him.
Mbaeva however said the state failed miserably to prove that Paai robbed Hamutenya of N$100 or that he attempted to obstruct the cause of justice when he allegedly hid the knife he used in a schoolbag.
According to Mbaeva there is no evidence before court that Paai deliberately hid the bag or that he instructed anyone to hide it.
With regard to the first murder where it is alleged that he stabbed Frederick Afrikaner to death on August 01, 2015 Mbaeva said that his client’s defence of being so intoxicated that he cannot be held accountable for his actions is a valid one.
He stated that the state failed to bring in expert evidence to counter the intoxication defence.
He thus asked the court to find his client not guilty.
State advocate Ethel Ndlovu on behalf of the prosecution said that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Paai was the aggressor in both killings.
According to her, evidence adduced during the trial showed that on both occasions, neither of the deceased persons was armed as Paai claimed in his plea explanation.
The accused claimed he acted in self-defence when he killed two men almost one year apart in Gobabis with knives when he pleaded to murder, robbery and defeating or obstructing the course of justice before Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka at the start of his trial.
Ndlovu further said that three of the state witnesses corroborated each other’s testimonies.
With regard to the second murder charge, she said the only reason the deceased lost his life was because Paai wanted the N$100 he saw in the pocket of the deceased.
According to her, he followed the deceased and his friend from the house where they bought zinc plates up to where he accosted them for the money.
According to the indictment, Paai chased Afrikaner into a shebeen in Epako armed with two open knives and stabbed him in the chest whereafter he fled left the scene.
Afrikaner was transported to the hospital where he succumbed due to severe bleeding the same day.
It is further stated that while out on bail on the first murder charge, he encountered Hamutenya and his girlfriend while they were on their way to visit relatives in Damara Block in Gobabis.
The accused approached them with an offer to sell zinc plates to them, the indictment reads.
It is further stated that although the deceased was interested, he decided not to buy them immediately.
The accused however did not take kindly to this and demanded N$100 from the deceased who told the accused to wait.
Paai then stabbed the deceased in the neck with a knife whereafter he removed N$100 from the pocket of the deceased and fled the scene and hid the knife he used to stab Hamutenya in a schoolbag, the indictment further stated.
Judge Siboleka reserved his judgment to October 09 at 11h30.