WINDHOEK - State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi on Wednesday told High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka in the Windhoek High Court that the only reasonable sentence the court can impose on convicted killer Elwen Gawaxab is life imprisonment, sending him to jail for the next 25 years to safeguard innocent lives.
Lutibezi made his submissions in the pre-sentencing proceedings of Gawaxab who was convicted of murder for ruthlessly beating a woman to death in Windhoek’s Otjomuise township.
Judge Siboleka convicted Gawaxab on a charge of murder with direct intent and assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm for beating to death Cathy Marlene Gatonye and attempting to kill Thalitha Patricia Khai-Gu Mungunda on August 18 - 19 2015 in Khomasdal after he asked them for a lift to an ATM and an argument erupted between them.
Lutibezi noted the murder was brutal and one can only imagine the pain the deceased must have gone through during her ordeal. Not even the presence of other people could stop the beating, he said, adding the convict is a danger to society and should be removed from it for a very long time.
Mbanga Siyomunji, the private lawyer for Gawaxab, asked the court to show mercy on his client. He said that Gawaxab did not set out that evening to go and kill someone. According to him the incident was a tragic culmination of circumstances and his client does not deserve to be punished for it.
He asked the court to sentence Gawaxab to 25 years, giving him a chance to rehabilitate and become a useful and productive citizen again.
Gawaxab denied throughout the trial that he was the male occupant in the vehicle that was responsible for the assaults on the two ladies, which culminated in the death of one of them.
He did not testify in mitigation as he remains steadfast in his denials.
Judge Siboleka, however, said in his judgment the evidence showed that it was the accused who approached the driver of the car and asked to be taken to an ATM which was granted and they drove to Gammans service station, a well-lit place with good visibility.
In view of the evidence, the judge said, the accused was in fact the only male person who was together with the deceased and her friends uninterruptedly up to the time when Mungunda was beaten up and the deceased was picked up badly injured.
He further held that it was Gawaxab who first assaulted Mungunda and then launched a vicious attack on the deceased, causing her to die of her injuries. He further said that the version of the accused is nothing but a fabrication.
Judge Siboleka said he will deliver his sentence on October 17.