A Gobabis resident, accused of kidnapping, raping and strangling a 27-year-old woman, will take the stand next year to answer to the charges.
During his court appearance in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Christie Liebenberg, Abel Makalabatho (27) was informed his case was ready for trial after going through case management.
Liebenberg further informed Makalabatho he will be standing trial before Judge Naomi Shivute and will make his first appearance before her on 19 January 2023.
Makalabatho, who was without a lawyer for quite some time, has been assigned Mbanga Siyomunji as his defence lawyer by the Directorate of Legal Aid.
Makalabatho will be tried on counts of rape, kidnapping, murder and obstructing the course of justice.
The prosecution is alleging that on 1 and 2 August 2020, Makalabatho and the victim were drinking together at a shebeen at Drimiopsis in the Gobabis district.
It is alleged that when the victim left to go and use the toilet, Makalabatho followed her and raped her.
He then forcefully took her to his house, where he committed the second and third counts of rape.
The State indicates the victim was intoxicated, rendering her incapable of communicating her unwillingness. On the count of murder, Makalabatho stabbed the victim with a knife on her neck and strangled her with a piece of wire.
To cover up his alleged deed, he buried the victim in a manhole, cleaned his bedroom with a mop to remove the victim’s blood and hid the knife underneath some plants.
Furthermore, he informed the police the victim left for a farm in the company of an unknown man after they had consensual sex in the toilet.
During his plea in the Gobabis Magistrate’s Court, Makalabatho told the court the following day, after he had forcefully taken the victim to his house and raped her, that she had threatened to report him to her mother about the incident.
As a result, he stabbed her with a knife in the neck, then strangled her to death with a wire.
He then allegedly dumped the victim’s body in a manhole, a distance away from his bedroom.
Makalabatho is currently detained at Windhoek Correctional Facility at the trial-awaiting section.