WINDHOEK - A man from Karasburg in southern Namibia, who was convicted of washing his victim and clothing her and putting her in their bed after he realised she died as a result of he beating her, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday by Judge Nate Ndauendapo.
The judge further sentenced August van Wyk, 53, to one year imprisonment for a conviction of attempting to defeat the course of justice, one year for a conviction of common assault and five years for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH). It was however ordered that the sentences run concurrently with the life sentence.
Van Wyk was convicted on the charges by Judge Ndauendapo in February this year. He was out on bail for assaulting the deceased, Katrina Waterboer on February 1, 2014 when he killed her on August 30, 2014 during a prolonged assault on her.
Judge Ndauendapo said that there is no doubt that murder is a very serious crime that calls for severe punishment. “Violence against women has reached a crisis point,” he said and continued: “It is continuing unabated despite the harsh sentences the courts impose. Society is crying for the courts to impose severe sentences against those who commit crimes against women.”
The judge told Van Wyk “the deceased was a defenceless woman whom you assaulted in a most brutal, vicious and sustained manner. You have not shown any remorse whatsoever for your brutal and cowardice …. You claimed that you loved the deceased, but you in the most savage manner ended her life.”
Van Wyk pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, the defeating of justice charge and the common assault charge. He however admitted that he assaulted his live-in partner, Katrina Waterboer, on February 1, 2014.
Waterboer died on August 30, 2014 as a result of multiple injuries sustained during a prolonged assault on her, the judge was told by the doctor who performed the autopsy. According to the doctor she had severe swelling of the soft tissue covering the head due to subcutaneous bleeding, bilateral subdural bleeding and brain swelling. The deceased died as a result of multiple injuries, subdural bleeding and a brain concussion.
According to Judge Ndauendapo, the accused severely assaulted his girlfriend until she succumbed to her injuries and he does not deserve mercy from the court. He further said Van Wyk showed no remorse at all, which is an aggravating factor.
According to the judge, it is the duty of the courts to send out a clear message that such conduct will not be condoned and severe sentences will be imposed on those that make themselves guilty of such barbaric behaviour.