WINDHOEK - A resident of Karasburg who had the body of his victim washed and clothed and put her in their bed after he realised she died as a result of a beating he subjected her to was convicted of murder with direct intent yesterday by Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo.
August van Wyk had the required intent to kill the deceased when he subjected her to multiple beatings on her head, the judge said. He also convicted Van Wyk on a charge of attempting to defeat the course of justice for cleaning the deceased and dressing her in fresh clothes and a further charge of assault.
Van Wyk pleaded not guilty to murder, defeating the course of justice charge and the common assault charge. He however admitted that he assaulted live-in partner, Katrina Waterboer on February 01, 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 State’s case was based on circumstantial evidence as there were no eyewitnesses. He further said that the accused’s version that the deceased fell in a ditch and in bushes where she sustained the injuries that may have caused her death is not supported by his behaviour and the medical evidence. He said the doctor testified many blows must have been inflicted to cause all those injuries and that most of them must have been directed to the head.
“Most importantly, the doctor testified that the injuries could not have been caused by a fall as they were too widely spread over the body to be caused by a fall,” the judge remarked.
He went on to say the doctor testified the injuries to the head were so severe that she could not have walked for a distance of 7km as testified by the accused. Furthermore, the judge said, some of the injuries were on top of the deceased’s head which could not have been caused by her falling.
The judge said the accused also never told anyone that the injuries to the deceased was caused by her falling into a ditch or thorny bushes. “That was only told when he testified and if indeed she fell and sustained those injuries as a result, he could have told his brother and the police officers,” the judge said and continued: The testimony by the doctor, the accused’s admission to his brother that he assaulted the deceased to death, his own admission, him telling the police officers that the deceased was murdered showed beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was the one who murdered the deceased. His version is therefore false beyond a reasonable doubt and rejected.
The matter will resume on March 13 for pre-sentencing procedures and Van Wyk remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting inmates.
He was represented by Milton Engelbrecht on instructions of legal aid and the prosecution by State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi.
2019-02-28 09:38:20 23 days ago