Thirty-year-old Azaan Madisia yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances in the death of Shannon Ndatega Wasserfall.
Madisia did, however, plead guilty on a charge of defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice and two counts of fraud.
Her brother and co-accused Steven Mulundu likewise pleaded not guilty to the murder and robbery charges but guilty to the charge of defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice.
In written plea explanations delivered in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday, they claimed that Wasserfall (21) died as a result of a tragic accident and that Mulundu merely helped Madisia to dispose of the body.
In her plea explanation that was read into the record by her Legal Aid lawyer Albert Titus, Madisia said she and Wasserfall were at her flat, enjoying themselves on that fateful day – Friday, 10 April 2020. At some stage, Wasserfall left – and when she returned, she seemed upset and started arguing with her, Madisia claimed. She said the altercation then turned into shouting and eventually a pushing match.
Wasserfall fell over her bed and did not get up again.
According to her, she felt for a pulse and looked for signs of life, but she could not find any; hence, she became panic-stricken.
“This caused me to go into a state of extreme shock initially –and thereafter, a state of panic. I was pacing up and down in my flat – very worried and afraid. I kept thinking to myself that if someone comes in here now, it would look terrible,” she said.
“In that state of panic, I then phoned my brother, Steven Mulundu, accused 2. I asked him to come over to my house urgently because something terrible had happened. After he saw the body of the deceased, my brother said we must call the police. I said yes, but what if they arrest me? I told him that we should do something, and we decided to get rid of the body.”
She further said they loaded the body onto the back of her work bakkie and
drove into the dunes, where they buried her in a shallow grave.
According to Madisia, she felt terrible about what happened and especially for Wasserfalls’ parents who did not know what had happened to their daughter and had no closure. That was when she sent a text message to the father from a different SIM card and directed him to where the body was buried.
She also sent text messages to the police from another SIM card, Madisia said.
The State, represented by Henry Muhongo, however, did not accept the plea of guilty on the charge of defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice.
Mulundu, in a plea explanation, read into the record by his Legal Aid lawyer Tanya Klazen, confirmed what was said in Madisia’s statement.
Both of them deny the State’s allegation that they planned to kill Wasserfall and
that they acted for a common purpose.
They also deny that they robbed her.
Madisia claimed that when she returned from burying the body, she found Wasserfall’s items in her flat and threw them away in a rubbish bin outside her yard.
On the charges of fraud, she said she committed the offences, claiming she needed to pay two huge debts.
In this case, she fraudulently claimed money from her insurer – Old Mutual – for a laptop and cellphone that were allegedly stolen from her. The matter continues today before Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg. - email@example.com