A man from Hamweyi village in the Rundu district was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment on a conviction of murder by acting Oshakati High Court Judge Danie Small.
The judge convicted Shiyave Ncamushe on a charge of murder with direct intent read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act for killing his common law wife, Kauma Nankali Clementine, with a shotgun blast to the head.
According to the indictment, on the morning of 8 June 2015, near Likwatetera village, the accused obtained a shotgun and one shell. From there, he rushed to the house where the deceased was employed and stayed after she left their common home, more or less a week earlier.
He shot the victim with the shotgun and she died on the same day due to a severe head injury caused by the gunshot. He fled the scene but was arrested five days later.
Judge Small said that while courts search for appropriate sentences in any given case, there is no such thing as one appropriate sentence. “No court is a court of perfection but it is the community’s arm dedicated to the making of assessments for appropriate sentences. The court’s sentence judgment is essentially its evaluation of what is fair in the circumstances of a given case. It is not a scientific calculation. A sentence cannot be objectively measured and then snipped off in the correct lengths,” the judge stated.
He further said that there is a persistent demand for more severe sentences on all offenders for all crimes and that the apparent foundation for this demand is a steadfast belief that no punishment can be too harsh and that the more severe it is, the better it will protect society.
According to the judge, the accused is currently 33-years-old and was 27 when the offence was committed. He never went to school, received no formal training and essentially lived an extremely basic life in rural Namibia. He went on to say that although the accused never told the court why he shot the deceased, it was shortly after she moved out of their common residence. He further said that the accused was diagnosed as suffering from antisocial personality disorder which means that he cannot conform to society’s rules. According to a psychiatrist that testified in court, persons with the disorder display arrogance, think lowly and negatively of others, and lack remorse for their harmful actions and have a callous attitude to those they have harmed.
According to the judge, the condition of Ncamushe means that the prospects of reformation and correction, and him becoming a useful member of society, seem unlikely and perhaps even remote.
He further said that the accused showed no remorse for what he has done and did not take the court into his confidence. “The accused in this matter planned and executed the murder in a callous and cold-blooded manner. The deceased was a defenceless victim and had no chance of escaping what was to be her fate at the hands of the accused,” the judge said. He went on to say that gender-based violence and murders have reached unacceptable levels in Namibia and that he gets the impression that some males, not men, believe that women are their property to do with as they please. According to the judge, the condition of Ncamushe means that the prospects of reformation and correction, and him becoming a useful member of society, seem unlikely and perhaps even remote.