A 60-year-old Khorixas businessman in the Kunene region yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, as well as two counts under the Arms and Ammunition Act when his trial started before Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg.
Rudolf Huirad Gowaseb admitted having shot and killed his girlfriend and the mother of his two minor children, Rigarda Matrilen Toatite !Notani !Noabes, with an unlicensed firearm in a fit of anger after she allegedly told him she slept with another man.
He is accused of the murder of !Noabes by firing at least six shots into her body at close range, causing her to die instantly on 12 November 2016 in Otjiwarongo.
According to Gowaseb, he was consumed by anger and felt provoked that his girlfriend of five years and mother of his children would do and say such things to him while he was caring for her and their children.
“In the heat of the moment, I took out my firearm, which was on me, a 7.65 CZ pistol, which had six bullets in the magazine and I shot at her multiple times. At the time, I did not know how many times,” he told the court.
He went on to say he failed to control his rage and that he knew that shooting at her could cause fatal injuries, but his anger overwhelmed him to an extent he committed this “horrible chilling” act.
“Today, I sit with regret and wish I could take back my actions,” he further stated, adding that he is truly regretful and sorry for his actions.
Gowaseb further said he knew he acted wrongfully and unlawfully – and that if caught, he could be arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced.
With regard to the firearm and ammunition charges, he admitted he did not have a license for the pistol or the ammunition and told the court he bought the pistol from his late uncle’s girlfriend.
He was initially also charged with another two counts of attempted murder and assault by threat, but those charges were withdrawn by Deputy Prosecutor General Anita Meyer.
Liebenberg convicted Gowaseb as charged.
After the conviction, Nhinda applied to the court for a postponement of two months to obtain the medical files of Gowaseb from his private doctor and for him to undergo further medical tests to determine his health status as mitigating factors.
Liebenberg, while amenable to a postponement, as he said the court should allow a convict to present whatever mitigating factors he deemed necessary, he did not agree with the period suggested and instead allowed Gowaseb until 10 August to arrange for his medical records and medical checkup.
He remains in custody at the section of the Windhoek Correctional Facility for trial awaiting inmates.