WINDHOEK - An NDF soldier accused of deliberately murdering his biological daughter by drowning her in the Goreangab Dam in February 2017 wants the Windhoek High Court to release him on bail three months before his trial is set to start.
Gabriel Tulinana David launched his bail application before Acting High Court Judge Kobus Miller. He is charged with the murder of five-year-old Cornelia David.
He also faces a charge for assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, theft and malicious damage to property. He indicated to the court that he will plead not guilty to all the charges when his trial starts on July 01. According to the charge sheet, David fetched the child from her mother on Sunday, February 19, 2017 with the aim of taking her shopping.
He was supposed to bring the child back the same day, but he did not return the deceased and instead murdered her by throwing her into the Goreangab Dam causing her to drown.
Before that he allegedly stole two cellphones with their SIM cards from the mother of the deceased, Kornelia Thomas during December 2016 and also in December 2016 stole another cellphone and SIM card from Thomas and intentionally damaged it by throwing it on the ground and destroying the SIM card by chewing it.
On January 26, 2017 David allegedly assaulted Thomas by beating her with fists on her neck, face and mouth and by hitting her with his forehead and kicking her on her arm.
David denied the allegations and said the cellphones belonged to him as he bought it for Thomas and that he merely defended himself when he hit her with his forehead as she tried to stab him with a knife.
With regard to the murder charge, he told the court that on that fateful day, he fetched his daughter from her mother in order to do some shopping for her.
On their way back they had to cross the dam along a pipe that stretched over the dam which had some water in it. As he had plastic bags with shopping in his hand, he told the child to wait for him about five meters from the edge of the water and took the bags across. When he returned to fetch the girl she was nowhere to be seen, Thomas said and continued that he then started to search for the child frantically. However, he said, this was in vain as he could not find her and he then went to report to the mother of the child that she is missing.
The mother however denied this in a statement she made to the police and said that David only contacted her via text message on February 22, wherein he told her that her child was dead and that it was her fault. David further testified that he continued to search for the child every day until he was eventually apprehended by the police on February 24 last year. He has remained in custody since then. During his evidence in chief in the bail application, David told the court that he will not flee the country if granted bail, as the state wants the court to believe.
“Why would I run away and where would I run to?” he asked the court. He further said that another fear of the State that he would harm Thomas if granted bail is unwarranted, as he has no ill feelings towards her. State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi told David that he is still hurt by the refusal of Thomas to continue with their relationship and that is why he would want to hurt her to which David answered that he has no feelings for Thomas, one way or the other. Judge Miller reserved his ruling on the bail application to this coming Monday, April 01 at 09h00.