A lawyer representing a 72-year-old man from Schlip near Mariental who is charged with murder has accused a State witness of trying to falsely information and implicates his client.
Winnie Christiaans in no uncertain terms told witness Cathleen Mouton that she is lying in an attempt to put the blame for her husband’s death at the feet of his client, Jan Donald Bruwer.
Bruwer is on trial for the murder of his step-son-in-law, Henry Noble Mouton, on 29 November 2014 at Schlip.
It is alleged in the indictment the accused had an altercation with his wife, Renette Bruwer, and that he hit her in the face with a fist. Bruwer is also accused of slapping another woman who enquired about the assault on his wife.
A quarrel further ensued when Henry’s wife Cathleen wanted to know why the accused assaulted her mother.
This too ended with the murder accused assaulting Cathleen, according to the indictment.
It was at this point that Henry was called to the house leading to the shooting incident in which he was shot three times – twice in the stomach and once in the face – causing him to die from his injuries.
After he shot the victim, it is alleged, Cathleen, who heard the shot, came out to see what was going on and the accused tried to murder her by firing one shot at her, wounding her in her shoulder.
Bruwer pleaded not guilty to the charges before Windhoek High Court Judge Orben Sibeya. Christiaans during his cross-examination of the witness told her that she never liked Bruwer and was against his marriage to her mother. She answered that she was not happy with the fact that Bruwer did not ask permission from her and her siblings to marry their mother, but that she had nothing against him.
When Christiaans pressed her further, she said Bruwer changed after the marriage and ill-treated her and her siblings, including her daughter. She could, however, not give an example of the ill treatment even when pressed for an answer by Judge Sibeya.
The judge also repeated a question Christiaans did not get an answer to, namely why the woman went into the house after hearing from her daughter that the accused was looking for her to shoot her too after he shot her husband.
She could only answer that she wanted to make sure her husband was dead.
Bruwer’s version is that he indeed slapped his wife after they were involved in a quarrel, but that he felt so bad afterwards that he just sat at the kitchen table even after Renice attacked him. He claims he never laid a hand on either Renice or Cathleen.
He further claims that when the deceased who was intoxicated arrived at the farm, approached him aggressively wanting to know why he assaulted the women.
Bruwer further claims that he warned the deceased not to come closer as he was armed and would shoot.
The deceased, however, continued to advance on him and in panic, he fired the shots. He cannot say how many shots he fired and where they hit the deceased, but after the second shot, he saw the deceased fall down and that, it was when the third shot struck the deceased in the face.
Bruwer also claimed Cathleen was shot accidentally when she bumped against his hand that held the firearm.