WINDHOEK - The investigating officer in the trial of an NDF soldier accused of murdering his biological daughter by drowning her in the Goreangab Dam in February 2017 testified yesterday before Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya.
Sergeant Deolene Jarson told the court she received information on February 24 that a man suspected of killing his daughter was arrested and she and another officer of the Gender Protection Unit went to the scene.
On arrival they found Gabriel Tulinana David and formally arrested him for the murder of five-year-old Cornelia David.
She further said that while she spoke in English, David did not respond and she then let her colleague, Sergeant Rauha Nghifindaka, take over to speak to David in Oshiwambo.
Jarson went on to say that after Nghifindaka spoke to David she then informed her (Jarson) that David told her that he went to fetch the little girl from her mother on Sunday morning, February 19, 2017 to take her shopping for clothes.
He further told the officer that he took the toddler to Pep Stores at the Frans Indongo Centre to buy clothes.
However, Jarson said, when they viewed the CCTV footage at the centre they could not find any trace of either David or the little girl.
She further said that after shopping, David said, he took the deceased to the single quarters where they ate kapana, but again no confirmation could be obtained.
He then went with the girl to a bar in Eveline Street, where he stayed until late, the accused told the officer, but again after viewing CCTV footage obtained from the owner of the bar, there was no sight of the accused or the deceased.
She further said that David further told them that the last time he saw the girl was at the bar and that he then went to a house in Windhoek North where he spent the night with his girlfriend.
Again, the officer said, upon investigations they could not ascertain whether David was at the house as the residents did not know him nor could he describe any of the furniture in the flat he claimed to have spent the night.
After that, Jarson said, David changed his tune and informed her colleague that he fetched the girl and went with her to Penduka Centre at Goreangab Dam and they had to cross a pipe with the deceased walking behind him, and when he reached the end of the pipe, she disappeared.
This version is also the defence of David, but he claimed that on their way back from shopping for clothes for the child 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 metres 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, but to no avail.
Jarson told the court that they reviewed CCTV footage at Penduka and did see David entering the area with the child, but that he left the area about 10 minutes after arriving there with the girl.
The matter was postponed to today and David remains in custody.
He also faces a charge of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, theft and malicious damage to property.
State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi is prosecuting and David is represented by Mbanga Siyomunji on instructions of legal aid.