The trial of a man who allegedly fatally slit the throat of his live-in girlfriend with a kitchen knife started yesterday with the accused pleading not guilty to charges of murder and assault read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.
Phillipus Hafeni Haihambo (55) is accused of killing his girlfriend Otillie Mwateuvi Hanguwo (36) on 1 September 2019 at approximately 18h30 at their home in Kuisebmond.
He further faces a charge of assault read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act for allegedly beating up the victim, pushing her and dragging her by her feet, causing her injuries during August 2019.
His Legal Aid lawyer Albert Titus informed Windhoek High Court
acting Judge Orben Sibeya that the pleas are in accordance with his instructions and that the accused will make use of his right to remain silent and put the onus on the State to prove each and every allegation against him. At first, the matter could not proceed as Titus told the court that could not consult with the accused as he is based in Walvis Bay and the accused is detained at the Windhoek Correctional Facility. He further told the court that due to the Covid-19 outbreak at the facility, he was not allowed inside to see his client. The judge granted Titus an hour to confer with his client in order to record the plea at least. The matter was then remanded to today to give Titus a chance to further consult. According to the indictment, the victim and the accused were in a love relationship and have one child together.
Haihambo suspected the victim of cheating on him with a former boyfriend, as he allegedly found compromising text messages on her phone. It is stated that in August 2019, an argument erupted between them and he assaulted her.
On 1 September, the indictment reads, he went a step further and stabbed the victim once in the neck causing her to run to a neighbouring shack where she fell down. The accused pursued her and continued stabbing her multiple times in the neck until she died. He was denied bail during his first court appearance in Walvis Bay and is currently in police custody in the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting inmates. The State is represented by Ian Malumani.