A murder convict who was sentenced to 50 years imprisonment for killing a Russian farming couple in a brutal panga attack, was granted leave to appeal his sentence by the High Court.
Judge Herman January on Friday condoned Ruben Tjombe’s (32) late filings and granted him leave to appeal his sentence in the Supreme Court. January said the reasons for the judgement would be made available on or before 20 July.
In May 2010, the High Court convicted and sentenced Ruben Tjombe alongside Fritz Gaoseb (33). They were each sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Judge Johan Swanepoel convicted Tjombe and Gaoseb on two counts of murder and a count of robbery. The two were tried for killing Andrei Pastouchkov (50) and his wife, Svetlana Lobanova (44) on a farm near Okahandja on 10 May 2008. Tjombe and Gaoseb were in the employment of the couple at the time of the incident.
At the start of their trial, Gaoseb admitted that he murdered Pastouchkov, while Tjombe admitted to killing Pastouchkov’s wife Lobanova.
Tjombe informed the court that he repeatedly struck Lobanova with a panga after she tried to flee when she discovered her husband lying dead in a chicken shed at the smallholding where they farmed with poultry.
Gaoseb said he killed Pastouchkov by hitting him once with a panga on his neck.
After the killing, Tjombe and Gaoseb raided the couple’s home and stole a range of goods, including a pistol, money, jewellery and clothing, worth about N$20 000 in total.
The court found that Tjombe and Gaoseb acted with a common purpose when they killed the couple. The court further stated that the crimes were committed out of greed, and without any provocation or any other justification.
Despite both men having expressed regret over the crimes, the court was of the view that Tjombe and Gaoseb did not show any signs of emotion or regret.
Tjombe was represented by Trevor Brokerhoff, with Ethel Ndlovu standing in for the State.