WINDHOEK - State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi yesterday implored Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo to sentence a man from Karasburg in Southern Namibia who had his victim washed and clothed and put her in their bed after he realised she died as a result of a beating he subjected her to life imprisonment for murder with direct intent.
Lutibezi further wants the judge to sentence August van Wyk, 53, to four years each for a conviction of attempting to defeat the course of justice and one for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) and two months for a conviction of assault common.
Van Wyk was convicted on the charges by Judge Ndauendapo in February this year. Van Wyk admitted various convictions including stock theft, possession of drugs as well as a conviction for assault on the deceased for which he paid an admission of guilt fine of N$400.
He was out on bail for assaulting the deceased, Katrina Waterboer on February 01, 2014 when he killed her on August 30, 2014 during a prolonged assault on her.
According to Lutibezi, the convict is a danger to vulnerable members of society and should be removed from society for a lengthy period. He said the previous convictions showed that Van Wyk has a propensity for committing crimes and clearly has no respect for the law.
He further said Van Wyk was convicted of serious and prevalent crimes and the courts, political leaders and civil society leaders has been calling for an end to domestic violence, but to no avail.
Van Wyk’s State funded lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht asked the court to show mercy on him, saying he is an old man and a very long sentence could in effect mean a death sentence.
Engelbrecht, while conceding that his client committed serious offences said that it is the duty of the court to punish, but not to destroy. He cited the recent Supreme Court judgment where inordinately long sentences were ruled unconstitutional as it in effect takes away any hope of a convict to be released. With regards to Van Wyk’s failure to apologise to the court or the family of the deceased for his actions, Engelbrecht said it will make him look guilty when he maintained his stance that he did not murder the deceased if the matter comes on appeal before the Supreme Court.
According to Engelbrecht his client cannot be expected to apologise for something he feels he did not do. Lutibezi on the other hand told the court that Van Wyk’s failure to apologise is because he does not feel any remorse for causing the death of a woman he claimed to love.
“He assaulted her on previous occasions and graduated from assault to murder,” Lutibezi said and continued: “this clearly shows that the convict is a violent person.”
Lutibezi also called the mother of the deceased, Sophia van Schalkwyk who told the court that she is still heartbroken over the death of her daughter. She said the daughter of the deceased is also not over the death of her mother and cries constantly while she has become withdrawn and likes to be alone unlike in the past. The distraught mother who cried when she saw the convict told the court that while she has sympathy with Van Wyk, he took something precious from her and must be punished accordingly.
Engelbrecht asked the court to sentenced Van Wyk to 30 years with a part thereof suspended on the murder conviction, one year on the attempt to defeat the course of justice, three years on the assault GBH and two months on the common assault convictions. He also asked the court to order that the sentence on the assault GBH run together with the murder sentence and that the sentences on the attempt to defeat the course of justice and common assault conviction run concurrently.
Judge Ndauendapo reserved his judgment on the sentencing until April 05 at 09h00.