A Gobabis resident who was convicted of strangling his eight-month pregnant girlfriend to death in June 2016 was sentenced to an effective 36 years in prison by Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Kobus Miller on Tuesday.
According to the judge, Rooinasie Masuna (30) does not deserve mercy as his conduct after the murder was flagrantly disrespectful.
He said Masuna had the audacity to take part in looking for the killer of his heavily pregnant dead girlfriend whilst knowing that he killed her.
Masuna was convicted on 9 October of the murder of Magdalena Gamras, who was 27-years-old and eight months pregnant with her fourth child.
Masuna admitted that he throttled Gamras but denied murdering her. According to him, the deceased was still alive, although unconscious when he left her in a bushy area near their residence. While there is understanding for what Masuna had to endure with the conduct of the deceased – drinking and engaging in adulterous affairs with other men – his actions were not justifiable, the judge remarked.
According to Miller, there were other avenues available to resolve their problems including walking away from the relationship. He said it is regrettable that disgruntled Namibian men kill their partners at will. This scourge, he said, has been plaguing the Namibian society for years despite the courts levying, even more, heavier sentences.
This case, in particular, the judge said, does not warrant the court’s mercy as the attack on the deceased was brutal and callous, taking into account her advanced stage of pregnancy. This he said is aggravating, especially, since the murder was committed within a domestic set-up.
He further said that the heavier sentences passed on such cases cannot alone solve the problem, but that the courts cannot stand idle and do nothing about the avalanche of domestic violence.
In this instance, Miller said, he is of the view that the nature of the offence, the circumstances under which it was committed and the interest of society demand that the accused be removed from society for a very long time.
The judge pointed out that the evidence of the accused was tainted and marred by inconsistencies and contradictions, especially in relation to the condition and the position of the deceased when he left her and went home to sleep that evening, after throttling her. “The accused has put various contradictory and inconsistent versions before court, which makes it difficult for the court to decide which of his versions in relation to the position and the condition of the deceased is probable. I find him to be an unreliable witness and I find his version to be untruthful and must be rejected in as much as it relates to the condition and the position of the deceased when he left her that evening,” Miller said.