A Walvis Bay man, convicted of murder with direct intent for slitting the throat of his live-in girlfriend with a kitchen knife, was yesterday sentenced to an effective 30 years behind bars.
Phillipus Hafeni Haihambo (55) was convicted by Windhoek High Court Judge Orben Sibeya of intentionally killing Otilie Mwateuvi Hanguwo (36) on Sunday 1 September 2019 at their home in Kuisebmond.
He was, however, acquitted on a charge of assault, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act for beating up the victim, pushing her and dragging her by her feet, causing her injuries during August 2019.
According to the judge, the charge of assault was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt and he had to give Haihambo the benefit of the doubt.
Regarding to the charge of murder, judge Sibeya said the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Haihambo killed the victim.
According to him, the accused chased after the victim like a predator chasing prey, with the sole intent to end her life.
“Predators chase to kill, and this is synonymous with the behaviour of the accused,” the judge said.
He went on to say the intention of the accused becomes apparent when stripped to the bare bones. According to the judge, evidence showed that the victim ran with a knife stuck to her back from the shack she shared with Haihambo, with him following her, and pulled her from the shack she sought shelter in.
He further said that evidence further show that the victim was screaming, “Tate Hafeni, you are killing me” while he was stabbing her and him replying, “Yes, I am killing you”.
The judge said this was a barbaric murder, and it is unthinkable that a human being can do something like this to another human being.
“I am at a loss for words to describe the condemnation the accused deserves,” he stated.
“This was evil to say the least. No person deserves to be attacked like that – no matter what sins they committed.”
According to the judge, Haihambo was hell-bent on killing the victim, which was evidenced when he pursued her like a prey.
He said Haihambo’s behaviour can only be described as that of a stonehearted criminal and stated the accused did not show any remorse and instead persisted with his fabrications that the victim hurt herself when he pushed her while she had a knife in her hands.
Although Haihambo is a first offender, who supported his family financially, the mere gruesomeness of the murder dwarfs his personal circumstances, the judge remarked.
According to the judge, society is crying for the courts to protect them from predators like the accused and if he fails in his duty to punish Haihambo severely, a real possibility exists that society will take the matter in their own hands.
Interest of society and the gruesome manner of the murder dictates he must remove Haihambo from society for a lengthy period.