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Murder accused denies guilt, knowing co-accused

2022-01-28  Maria Amakali

Murder accused denies guilt, knowing co-accused

Maria Amakali

One of the men on trial for murdering 71-year-old Gerhardus Petrus Koekemoer at his Outjo home in 2014 has denied knowing his co-accused and having a hand in the death of the elderly, although he had admitted guilt in a warning statement. 

Taking a witness stand yesterday in the Windhoek High Court, Lourens Aib (29) testified that prior to his arrest, he had no idea who his co-accused Hendrik Nowoseb (40) and Ferdinand Hangula (41) were. 

He claims the investigating officer informed him of who they were after he was arrested and charged. 

He further noted the witness statement he had provided to the police on the day of his arrest in October 2014 was made under duress. 

He said to have made the statement due to the pain he was suffering as a result of the handcuff and further being threatened. 

He further claimed the investigating officer in the matter told him what to say in the warning statement, and he complied out of fear. 

In his warning statement, Aib allegedly confessed he, alongside Nowoseb and Hangula murdered Koekemoer by stabbing him with a knife, and tried to murder a former fiancée of Koekemoer on the evening of 25 October 2014 during a robbery at a small shop that Koekemoer’s former fiancée was running from Koekemoer’s house. 

The group stole N$251 in cash as well as N$10 and N$5 tango recharge vouchers worth N$465, together with cigarettes, sweets, a bunch of keys and a pocketknife. 

Aib gave graphic details of what transpired on the date in question. 

The two are being tried on a count of murder, attempted murder, rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances. 

Aib and Nowoseb were left to answer in court after their co-accused Hangula hanged himself in his room after strangling his pregnant girlfriend to death in November 2020. 

According to police reports, Hangula, who was on bail, allegedly got involved in an argument with his 39-year-old pregnant girlfriend after she repeatedly told him he is not the father of her unborn child. 

At some stage during the argument, he used a shoelace to strangle the woman to death, it was reported in a crime report at the time. 

It was further reported that to hide the body of his girlfriend, he pushed her remains under the bed. 

He then took the time to write a suicide note before hanging himself with a piece of rope in the bedroom, where he had hidden the body of his girlfriend.

 Nowoseb, on the other hand, is currently serving a prison sentence of 44 years in August 2017 for the murder of his former girlfriend, whom he stabbed to death in her hospital bed after he had stabbed her the previous evening. 

The trial is currently ongoing before Judge Nate Ndauendapo. 

The pair are represented by Natji Tjirera and Jermaine Muchali, respectively. 

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-01-28  Maria Amakali

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