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Murder accused loses ‘conflicted’ lawyer

2022-06-24  Maria Amakali

Murder accused loses ‘conflicted’ lawyer

A lawyer representing a trial-awaiting man accused of kidnapping, raping and strangling a woman to death, withdrew his services yesterday in the High Court. 

Legal aid-appointed lawyer Joseph Andreas informed the court that while examining the disclosure from the State, he discovered that two of the State witnesses are his good friends. 

Thus, he is conflicted and would not be in the position to represent Abel Mokalabatho (27) during his trial.

“I have since informed the Directorate of Legal Aid of these developments. They have informed me that they will be appointing a new lawyer for the accused next week,” explained Andreas.

Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula postponed the matter to 21 July for legal aid. 

Mokalabatho is expected to be tried on counts of rape, kidnapping, murder and obstructing the course of justice. 

The prosecution is alleging that on 1 and 2 August 2020, the accused and the victim were drinking together at a shebeen in Drimiopsis in the Gobabis district. 

It is alleged that when the victim left to use the toilet, Mokalabatho followed her and raped her. 

He then forcefully took her to his house, where he committed the second and third counts of rape. 

The State indicated the 27-year-old victim was intoxicated, rendering her incapable of communicating her unwillingness. 

On the count of murder, Mokalabatho stabbed the victim with a knife on her neck and strangled her to death with a piece of wire. 

To cover up his alleged deed, he buried the victim in a manhole, cleaned his bedroom with a mop to remove the victim’s blood, and buried the knife underneath some plants. 

Furthermore, he informed the police that the victim left for a farm in the company of an unknown man after they had consensual sex in the toilet. 

During his plea in the Gobabis Magistrate’s Court, Mokalabatho told the court that the following day after he had forcefully taken the victim to his house and raped her, she had threatened to report him to her mother about the incident. 

As a result, he stabbed her with a knife in the neck, and then strangled her to death with a wire. He then allegedly dumped the victim’s body in a manhole, a distance away from his bedroom.

Mokalabatho is currently in police custody in Windhoek. - mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-06-24  Maria Amakali

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