• July 18th, 2019
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Pathologist disputes suicide claim


Roland Routh Windhoek-The pathologist that performed an autopsy on a 19-year-old girl, who died from strangulation at a farm in the Keetmanshoop area almost two years ago, yesterday strongly rubbished claims by the man accused of her murder that she could have committed suicide. Dr Verkusha Maksym, from the Keetmanshoop State Hospital, told Judge Dinah Usiku, in the High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility, that from the observations he made during the autopsy on Janetta Babiep it is inconceivable she could have hanged herself, as the evidence does not support such a scenario. He said it is more plausible she was strangled “forcefully with a rope”. According to Dr Maksym, the strangulation marks found on the neck of the deceased were inconsistent with a person hanging from the neck. He said the ligature marks do not suggest the deceased was suspended upward, but rather that she was strangled by someone that tied the rope around her neck and forcefully pulled on it. This, he said, was borne out by the amount of damage caused to the trachea and other organs of the deceased. He further said death did not occur immediately or even within seconds bur it took the deceased more than two minutes to die. He based this on the fact that the deceased’s nose was bleeding profusely and that she had bitten the tip of her tongue, which he attributed to “mechanical strangulation”. Dr Maksym further said that in a case of suicide by hanging, one loses consciousness very quickly, thus limiting the damage caused, but when a person is strangled mechanically such a person will fight to stay alive, which could cause damage such as observed on the deceased. Wiilempie Fredddy Eksteen, 20, is accused of murdering the deceased with whom he was in a romantic relationship and had a child, during the period September 21to 22, 2014 near Aroab. While details about what happened that night remain sketchy as it was only Eksteen and the deceased in the room when she died, he claims she committed suicide by hanging herself with a nylon rope from the ceiling of their room. According to Milton Engelbrecht, from Engelbrecht Attorneys, his instructions from Eksteen are that he (the accused) and the deceased went to sleep that night and when he woke up the next morning she was no longer next to him. He then lit a candle to search for her and saw her hanging from the roof, Engelbrecht said. He added that Eksteen claimed that he then cut the deceased from the roof, then removed the rope still attached to the roof and set it on the bed. One of the first police officers at the scene, Detective Sergeant Charlto Ruberto Frederick, told the court that when he arrived he was expecting a crime scene comparable with suicide, but when he observed things he immediately suspected foul play as the rope was around the deceased’s neck and around the post of the bed. He further said he called the brother of the deceased, Pietertjie, and asked him whether the deceased lived alone in the room. After he was told the deceased and accused resided together in the room, he called the accused and told him of his misgivings about the so-called suicide.The accused seemed nervous and was shivering, the officer said, adding that when he asked him a second time the accused told him in Afrikaans, ‘Ek het die daad gepleeg,’ (I committed the deed). The trial continues today and Eksteen is out on a warning.
New Era Reporter
2017-09-05 09:56:49 1 years ago

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