A resident of Tses in the Keetmanshoop district, who claimed during his plea on two charges of murder and three attempted murder charges that he was too drunk at the time of committing the offences to remember what transpired, was convicted on all counts last week.
Windhoek High Court Judge Claudia Claasen convicted Renaldo Goliath (30) of murder with direct intent for stabbing Samuel Jossob and Julius Kenneth Hangue to death, of attempted murder for stabbing Chedric Raymond Williams in his left eye and two counts of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Alfred Frederick Kisting and Remantha Hill
Goliath claimed he consumed a lot of alcohol during the day of 27 April 2012 and has no recollection of what happened the early morning hours of 28 April when it is alleged he stabbed his victims.
He entered pleas of not guilty on all charges before Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Claudia Claasen, except for the murder of Hangue, to which he wanted to plead guilty, but did not admit intention to kill and the judge entered a plea of not guilty.
According to the indictment, the accused was at a nightclub in Tses during the late night hours of 27 April 2012 and the early morning hours of 28 April 2012, armed with a knife, and started stabbing patrons at the club at random.
It was charged by the State that Goliath first stabbed Jossob three times in his head, back and chest area, causing him to die from his injuries.
He then went on to stab Hangue in the neck, causing him too to die from the stab wound.
It is further stated that Goliath then tried to kill Kisting by stabbing him all over his body but only managed to stab him in the arm, whereafter he stabbed Williams in the area of his eye.
He then stabbed Hill in her chest/shoulder area, it is further stated.
The judge rejected the accused’s claim of non-pathological criminal incapacity due to severe intoxication and said if he can remember stabbing Hangue and the amount of alcohol he purchased and their prices, he should be able to remember what transpired, as it all happened within minutes.
She said it is not sufficient to merely say ‘I was drunk; I cannot remember what happened’.
“The defense version that the accused remembers one of the stabbing incidents and other activities but not the other stabbing incidents that occurred in the same night has a hollow ring to it and is not credible in the circumstances,” the judge remarked.
She further said to prove one was not in full mental stability when committing an offence is an arduous task to attempt without any medical evidence.
In the end, the judge said, the defense of mental incapacity due to severe intoxication does not hold up, as it is not supported by any medical evidence – and as such, it stands to be rejected.
Goliath will return to court on 20 January next year for pre-sentencing procedures. He is remanded in custody at the section for trial awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.
He is represented by Jermaine Muchali on instructions of Legal Aid and the State by Basson Lilungwe.