A Gobabis resident who was released on parole after a murder conviction in 2008, was convicted of a similar crime in the Windhoek High Court on Friday.
Judge Claudia Claasen convicted Petrus Hoxobeb (57) on a charge of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, after finding that his defence did not hold up to scrutiny. Hoxobeb claimed that he was asleep at his daughter’s house when the murder took place.
The State charged that he killed his girlfriend Josephine Afrikaner at a shebeen in the Freedom Square informal settlement in Gobabis during the evening hours of Sunday, 14 July 2019 by stabbing her at least nine times all over her body.
The post-mortem report stated that she died of hypovolemic shock due to stab wounds to her heart and lungs. According to the indictment, Hoxobeb and the deceased were involved in a relationship sometime prior to her death, but were no longer involved at the time of the incident.
During the evening of 14 July 2019, the deceased was socialising with some of her friends at a shebeen.
The victim left the shebeen to relieve herself outside and was accompanied by Esmie Thomelo, who is the complainant in the charge of assault by threat Hoxobeb was also facing. It is further alleged that Hoxobeb followed them, armed with a knife, and pounced on the squatting Afrikaner and stabbed her.
When Thomelo wanted to intervene, he threatened to stab her with the knife he was still wielding. Hoxobeb then fled the scene, and was arrested while hiding in a mountainous area in the Gobabis district.
He was released from custody on parole on a previous murder conviction in 2008 after serving 13 years of a 17-year sentence. According to the summary of substantial facts on the previous murder, he also stabbed his victim multiple times while she was relieving herself in the bushes.
According to Claasen, the alibi defence of Hoxobeb holds no water as it was full of holes.
She said while his daughter testified that Hoxobeb came knocking at her door on that fateful night, she could not with certainty confirm that he in fact stayed there the whole night.
She further said that their testimonies differed in material ways about the layout of the shack. While Hoxobeb claimed that he slept in a bedroom, the daughter said he slept on a bench in the kitchen as the house had only two rooms, the bedroom and the kitchen.
This, the judge said, showed that he did not know the structure of the house, while he claimed to have slept there the whole night. She rejected his evidence as false beyond reason.
Judge Claasen said while Thomelo was a single witness, she was impressed with her testimony. “I find her evidence clear and credible in every manner. I am satisfied that she saw the accused clearly; she is a credible witness”. With regards to intention, the judge said the intent can be determined clearly from the number of stab wounds inflicted, and the parts of the body they were inflicted upon.
“The post-mortem report reveals nine stab wounds spread out over the chest, back, face and left arm.
This leaves no doubt that it invokes direct intent,” she stated. Claasen added that evidence shows that these stab wounds were inflicted, out of the blue, for no reason at all, whilst the deceased was in a rather vulnerable position. She further convicted him of assault by threat.
Hoxobeb, who is represented by legal aid attorney Eliaser Shiikwa, will return to court on Friday to establish the dates for the pre-sentencing procedures. The State is represented by Ian Malumani. firstname.lastname@example.org