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State challenged to prove murder allegations
2018-07-31Staff Report 2 Roland Routh WINDHOEK – A man accused of the murder of his 19-year-old girlfriend and mother of his child, Brigitta Smith, by stabbing her seven times in the chest for refusing to spend the night with him, yesterday denied guilt on the charges he faces and put the State to prove the allegations against him before the Windhoek High Court. Rodney Ricardo Rooi answered not guilty when a charge of murder read with the Domestic Violence Act and a charge of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice was put to him by State Advocate Henry Muhongo. His current legal aid lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji, told Judge Alfred Siboleka the plea is in accordance with his instructions and that Rooi will make use of his constitutional right to remain silent and put the onus on the State to prove each and every allegation against him. Siyomunji took over from Trevor Brockerhoff because the latter had to withdraw from the trial due to other commitments. The State alleges that during the late night hours of February 25 or the early morning hours of February 26, 2017 Rooi went to the deceased at the residence of her mother in the New Extension location in Aroab in the district of Keetmanshoop and asked her to accompany him back to his residence to spend the night, but she declined. He then stabbed her several times (approximately seven times) with a knife whereafter he fled the scene and hid the knife in the ground with the intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. The victim was taken to a nearby medical centre but died shortly after arrival due to a loss of blood caused by a stab wound to the heart. Yesterday the nurse who first attended to the deceased testified that he was on duty at the Aroab Health Centre on that fateful night. According to Felix Chisa, at around 01h30 he saw two men carrying a lady whose clothes were blood-soaked and who was still bleeding profusely, into the clinic. He told them to put her on the bed in the emergency area and he observed that she was gasping for air. In fact, Chisa said, she was struggling to breathe. He then started to examine her and observed two deep lacerations on her right arm which was bleeding severely, one puncture wound above her left breast and one just below her left breast. According to him he also observed air bubbles coming from the wounds on her left chest and covered the wounds to prevent air from entering her chest cavity. However, Chisa said, while he was still trying to stop the bleeding, the deceased stopped breathing and despite his efforts to resuscitate her, she died. The trial continues today and Rooi is in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting inmates. 2018-07-31Staff Report 2