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State rubbishes farm murderer’s appeal prospects

2021-09-21  Maria Amakali

State rubbishes farm murderer’s appeal prospects
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The State says a 50-year-old man, convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for murdering a Rehoboth farmer in 2017, has no prospect of winning his appeal in the Supreme Court.

State prosecutor Antonia Verhoef argued Jan Moses Uamunika’s 20-year sentence was imposed in relation to the circumstances of his offence, which was a vicious attack on vulnerable 69-year-old Joseph Adriaan Barth, who posed no imminent threat to him. 

“The vicious attack on the deceased shows how cruel the applicant was. Although he disputes these facts, the deceased was also shot at close range in his legs,” explained Verhoef.

It is the State’s firm position that Uamunika’s application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court should be dismissed, as he failed to show there is a probability for that court to amend his sentence.

Verhoef made the submission yesterday in Windhoek High Court before judge Eileen Rakow. 

Uamunika is seeking leave from the High Court so he may appeal his sentence in the Supreme Court, saying the High Court misdirected itself when it imposed a 20-year term on him.

His defence lawyer Titus Mbaeva said they do not dispute that Barth was vulnerable; they are simply challenging the hefty sentence imposed on him. 

He argued, the sentence imposed is not correct if the court were to compare it to cases with similar circumstances.

“We submit that the Supreme Court would not come to the same conclusion as the trial court. That is why leave should be granted,” argued Mbaeva. 

 In July 2020, Rakow convicted Uamunika on a charge of murder and using a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. 

Consequently, she sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment, of which five years were suspended for five years.

According to the judge, Uamunika was convicted of a serious offence and a custodial sentence was unavoidable.

During the sentencing, the court held that Barth was severely beaten; he suffered from a skull fracture, which ultimately caused his death, broken ribs, various defensive wounds on his hands, contusions on his chest, arms and back, and two gunshot wounds on his legs. 

He was also tied up. 

He later managed to free himself and crawled to the side of the house, where he died and was found the next day. 

Barth died on the night of 31 August 2017.

According to Rakow, there was a relationship between the victim and Uamunika – that of employee and employer.

 The existence of this relationship is seen as an aggravating factor, she stated. 

In this application, Rakow is scheduled to give a ruling on 8 October.


2021-09-21  Maria Amakali

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