A man who was on trial for killing his live-in girlfriend by stabbing and slitting her throat for allegedly cheating on him in Kuisebmond in 2019, was on Thursday found guilty of her death.
Philipus Hafeni Haihambo (55) was convicted of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act with direct intent for the death of Hanguwo Otillie Mwateuvi (36) on 1 September 2019. The court, however, acquitted him of assault read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act due to lack of evidence.
It was established during the trial that Haihambo first stabbed the victim, who is the mother of his child, once in the neck, causing her to run to a neighbouring shack where she fell. She was then seen by witnesses running with a knife stuck in the back of her neck.
Haihambo pursued her and continued stabbing her multiple times in the neck and walked away. He returned when he saw the victim was showing some sort of life when she lifted her arm. He then went over to her and slit her throat.
After the gruesome act, Haihambo dropped the knife and proceeded home where he was seen washing off blood from his hands.
Haihambo was heard telling the victim that he was going to kill her, as he was busy stabbing her with a knife.
“The fact that he chased the deceased as though he was a predator chasing its prey, indicates that he intended to kill her,” said High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya.
Haihambo who denied guilt said the deceased stabbed herself after the two had an altercation in their shared bedroom.
He said the victim fell and cut herself with the knife. She allegedly ran out of the shack to the neighbouring shack. Out of love and concern for his partner, he followed her there.
He was adamant that any injuries sustained by the victim, she inflicted on herself.
Haihambo’s version was, however, denied by the court and he was deemed an unreliable witness. The court noted that Haihambo failed to give an explanation why the victim would stab herself multiple times.
The court also ruled that Haihambo’s testimony is in contradiction with the reply he furnished within the pre-trial memorandum.
In that pre-trial memorandum, Haihambo admitted that he stabbed and killed the victim because he suspected her of cheating on him.
Although the reply has Haihambo’s signature on it, he claims he was not aware of the contents in the document or what he was signing.
Haihambo will be back in court on 14 April for mitigation before sentencing.
The state is represented by Ian Malumani and Haihambo by legal aid lawyer Alvin Titus.