WINDHOEK – The Namibia Defence Force (NDF) soldier accused of murdering his biological daughter by drowning her in the Goreangab dam in February 2017 was convicted of murder with direct intent, read with the provisions of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, by Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya yesterday.
The accused, Gabriel Tulinana David, was charged with the murder of five-year old Cornelia David by drowning her to spite his former girlfriend and mother of his child who terminated their relationship after David had assaulted her.
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.
He was further convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, hitting the mother of the deceased twice with a clenched fist and for head-butting her on January 26, 2017 after she refused to give him N$20 for taxi fare.
He was further convicted on a charge of theft for stealing two cellphones with their SIM cards from Kornelia Thomas during December 2016 and also in December 2017. He was however acquitted on a charge of malicious damage to property in relation to their alleged damage.
Judge Sibeya said he would not convict David for their damage as Thomas gave contradictory evidence as to how the damage occurred and he had to give David the benefit of doubt.
With regard to the other charges, the judge said there was no doubt in his mind that it was David who drowned the deceased out of vengeance for Thomas terminating the relationship between them.
According to the judge, the versions of David are so full of contradictions that they must be rejected as false beyond a reasonable doubt.
Judge Sibeya said in his opinion, David’s conduct during the four days leading up to the discovery of the little girls’ body was that of a man intent on torturing the woman he professed to have loved with constant text messages taunting her.
He further said that David’s claims that he searched the dam day and night to try and find the deceased holds no water as he never asked for any assistance and when the court asked him why he did not notify the police, he just answered he did not know one can ask for assistance from the police to trace a missing person.
This, the judge said, leaves no other conclusion other than that the evidence of David is a calculated fabrication designed to rescue him from a conviction of murder.
The judge further said that the evidence of Thomas was credible in all respects and can be relied upon and there is no reason why it should not be accepted as the truth.
The matter was postponed to October 10 for pre-sentencing procedures and David remains in custody at the Seeis police station.
Mbanga Siyomunji is representing David on instructions of legal aid and State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi represents the prosecution.
2019-10-01 07:18:12 13 days ago