WINDHOEK - Levi Haneb, 32, who was convicted of murder with direct intent on his own admission and a charge of common assault and assault by threat was sentenced to life imprisonment on the murder charge.
He also received punishment of an additional six months each on the assault convictions on Tuesday morning by Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka. No order was made on the running of the sentences.
Haneb pleaded guilty to murder, but denied assaulting or threatening to assault the deceased, Ingenesia Ais, with whom he was in an intimate relationship prior to the incidents.
According to the state, Haneb killed Ais by hacking her at least eight times with a panga on her head, neck, arm and hand after he had locked her and himself in her room on April 3, 2015 in Outjo.
He was also charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for pulling her out of her house during the period March 23 to 30, 2015 and holding her by her legs and beating her with clenched fists and or stones. He was further charged with assault by threat for threatening to kill or harm Ais by chasing her with a spear in his hands during August, 2014.
In sentencing, Judge Siboleka said, he took into account the fact that relatives of the deceased broke the locked door of her house and found the accused in the act. “He had already fatally wounded the deceased with a panga, resulting in her death en route to the medical centre,” the judge said and continued: This heinous crime was committed in a domestic setting. The seriousness thereof substantially overwhelms the accused’s plea of guilty to the murder charge as well as the fact that he is a first offender. According to the judge, the deceased had multiple wounds located in the head, neck and right upper limb. He remarked that the head had three stab wounds that cut only the scalp and did not penetrate into the cavity and on the right side of the neck, there were three wounds, two of them deep which cut the skin, subcutaneous tissue (internal), sternocleidomastoid muscle (neck muscles) vascular and nerve bundle including the carotid artery. This in actual fact means he severed her throat.
Judge Siboleka also said that the accused assaulted the deceased by pulling her out of her house and threatened her with an assegai at another occasion. He further said that he agree with the submission of the prosecutor, Advocate Cliff Lutibezi, that Haneb only tendered the plea of guilty because he had no other alternative. This, the judge said, showed that he had no remorse. He further said that evidence showed that Haneb has been assaulting the deceased since 2014. The fact that the accused has been charged in accordance with the Domestic Violence Act makes the offence even more serious and calls for a long custodial sentence.
He was represented by Jan Wessels on instructions of Legal Aid.