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Mariental resident pleads guilty to murder

2019-08-06  Roland Routh

Mariental resident pleads guilty to murder

WINDHOEK – Hendrick Uirab, a resident from Mariental yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act before Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku at the High Court situated at the Windhoek Correctional facility.

He however denied that he attempted to murder another person by hitting him with an axe on the forehead. In a plea explanation read on his behalf by his legal aid lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht, the accused admitted that he stabbed the deceased Katrina Maria Rooi to death at the Mariental Cemetery during the period June 18- 19, 2017.

According to Uirab, he and the deceased were in a romantic relationship and he had one child with her. On the night in question, Uirab said, the deceased called him to come and join her at a house where traditional beer was sold.

When he arrived at the place, he saw the deceased sitting on the lap of her ex-boyfriend and he became angry and left.

However, after a while he returned with a kitchen knife and called the deceased to come to him, but she refused and he took her away to the cemetery. At the cemetery he confronted her about her sitting on the lap of her ex-boyfriend and she then slapped him twice and also grabbed him on his jacket and broke the zip.

“I was overcome with anger as I was the one who maintained the deceased and her children and I took out the knife and stabbed her in the chest. I don’t know how many times,” Uirab said.
He further said that he left the deceased there and went to his aunt’s house where he slept and the next day he went to the cemetery to check up on the deceased and found her dead.
He then went to the police and handed himself over, telling the police ‘I am the person you are looking for, who killed the person in the graveyard.’

Uirab asked the court for forgiveness and said he was sorry for what he has done. 
“I regret my actions and ask the court to show me leniency,” he pleaded. He however vehemently denied that he had a panga that evening or that he hacked Gerson Kooper with it. In their testimony, Kooper and another witness, Patricia ‘Pop’ van der Westhuizen, were adamant that Uirab had a panga with him and that he cut Kooper with it over his left eye. According to Kooper, when Uirab arrived at the drinking hole, he wanted to take the deceased away, but she refused and sat on the ground. Uirab then tried to take her by force, but he intervened and told Uirab to leave the lady alone and Uirab then took out the panga and struck him with it. Van der Westhuizen on the other hand said that Uirab had the panga in his hand and when the deceased told him that she chose to stay with Kooper, he straightened out the arm in which he had the panga and cut Kooper on the forehead above his left eye.

Kooper also told the court that he did not want to open a case against Uirab, but that the police told him to do it. Judge Usiku convicted Uirab on the murder charge and the case was remanded to tomorrow for submissions on the attempted murder charge. The prosecution was represented by State Advocate Ian Malumani.

2019-08-06  Roland Routh

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