A 72-year-old resident of Schlip near Mariental, who is charged with murder, took the stand yesterday in his own defence.
Jan Donald Bruwer took to the witness box after the state represented by Ethel Ndlovu closed its case.
According to him, there was animosity between his wife and her daughter Constance, the wife of the deceased, Henry Noble Mouton, to the extent that he had to physically separate them on occasion because they fought.
Bruwer is on trial for the murder of his son-in-law, Mouton. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges before Windhoek High Court Judge Orben Sibeya. During his testimony yesterday, Bruwer said that it was no secret that his stepdaughter, Constance, wanted him and her mother to separate and she told him this to his face.
He further informed the court that on 29 November 2014 – the day of the alleged murder – he returned from his farm near Schlip to the residence he shared with his wife. While he was talking to her, Renice Strauss, her granddaughter entered the kitchen and told his wife that her mother Constance was asking about church cards.
He then enquired from his wife why she keeps her daughter’s cards, as there was clearly no understanding between them upon which Renice interjected and he told her to keep quiet as he was talking to his wife.
Renice then told him that she has a say in the house and he moved towards her to chastise her upon which she scratched him on his arm and he moved away from her. When he turned, he saw his wife had moved towards where he was and was upset so he slapped her once on the cheek to calm her down, Bruwer narrated.
“My wife then told me to get out of her house and Renice told her, “that’s right grandma, pack his things so he can leave,” he continued. He further said that after his wife and Renice went to the bedroom, he shared with his wife, he followed them and fetched his rifle and locked it in his vehicle.
When he returned to the house, he saw Constance coming through the front door and she told him ‘this is what I’ve been waiting for’, took a jug with water, and hit him in the face with it, in the process breaking his glasses. According to Bruwer, he did not say anything to Constance and just took his fan and took it to his vehicle and saw his clothes in a plastic bag on a table in front of the house. Bruwer went on to say he then asked his wife to empty his deep freezer so he could take it with him and while she was busy, he saw the deceased coming through the front door.
“The deceased gave me a look so terrifying and asked in a loud voice why did you assault mommy and I then asked him, ‘Henry what do want to do? I will shoot you’,” Bruwer said and continued that the deceased just kept on coming pointing at his chest and saying, ‘shoot me, shoot me.’
He added that he was anxious and frightened and did not even realise he fired the shots until he saw the deceased fell down at his feet.
Bruwer added he then stepped over the deceased’s legs and went towards the front door and Constance then came running and crashed into him causing a shot to go off. He further said that he did not even realise that Constance was hurt. Bruwer further denied the evidence of Constance that he aimed the firearm at her chest and fired at her from a metre away.
The matter continues today.