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Murderer appeals 20-year sentence

2021-10-29  Maria Amakali

Murderer appeals 20-year sentence
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Maria Amakali

An Okahandja resident who is currently serving a 20-year sentence for murdering his love rival is appealing his conviction and sentence in the High Court.

Joseph Garoëb was convicted and subsequently sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by the Windhoek Regional Court in 2016. Magistrate Elina Nandago at the time said Garoëb senselessly killed Michael Swartbooi – cutting his life short unnecessarily.

She said although Garoëb and Swartbooi were dating the same woman, it was not a valid reason for him to stab him multiple times, causing his death.

In his appeal, Garoëb said the trial court convicted him on a charge of murder without sufficient evidence.

He is arguing that the court failed to consider that although he admitted to stabbing the victim, he was acting in self-defence as the victim had a sharp object.

“The magistrate erred in law and fact by failing to take judicious caution of contradictory evidence submitted by the state’s witnesses,” submitted Garoëb.

On his sentence, the convict is arguing that the punishment imposed is “shocking and inappropriate”.

He further said the court failed to take his personal circumstances into consideration, and over-emphasised that he did not show remorse during the trial when he testified.

Swartbooi died after being stabbed with a knife in Okahandja on 17 December 2011. During the trial, the appellant denied guilt, citing he had no intention of killing Swartbooi. He said he was acting in self-defence when he stabbed the deceased three times.

However, state witnesses testified that Swartbooi was unarmed when Garoëb attacked and stabbed him. The stabbing resulted from an argument in which Garoëb was enquiring why Swartbooi was dating his girlfriend. The men met at a local bar.

Swartbooi denied being in a relationship with Garoëb’s girlfriend. However, when he left the bar, Garoëb followed him and stabbed him in the back with a knife, State witnesses testified.

The state has filed a notice to oppose the application. The case was postponed to 29 November for the mentions roll by judge Hosea Angula.  Garoëb is being represented by Mbanga Siyomunji.

2021-10-29  Maria Amakali

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