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State wins bid to appeal suspended murder sentence

2021-11-09  Maria Amakali

State wins bid to appeal suspended murder sentence
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The Windhoek High Court yesterday granted the State leave to appeal a murder sentence of a Windhoek resident, whose 10-year sentence was wholly suspended for five years by the local regional court.  

Judge Herman January handed down the order yesterday, indicating the reasons for the order will be made available on a later date. 

Walter Hoaseb (40) was convicted of murder with direct intent for stabbing to death Kevin Pietersen on 13 August 2015 and was subsequently sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. 

However, regional court magistrate Leopoldt Hangalo wholly suspended the sentence for five years on condition Hoaseb is not convicted of murder during the suspension period. 

During the sentencing, Hangalo said it was not a normal practice to give a wholly suspended sentence; however, the circumstances of the case are different. 

“It is, indeed, so that in this case, the deceased person was the aggressor – and you were provoked not only once but it was continuously until you lost your temper – and this was the result,” said Hangalo at the time. 

He substantiated his decision, saying despite having been provoked and stabbed the first day, Hoaseb did not act until the second day when he finally lost his temper.  

However, the prosecution, represented by Marthino Olivier in their notice of appeal, believe Hangalo was too lenient with Hoaseb by imposing a wholly suspended sentence. 

The sentence induces a sense of “shock”.  

The prosecution further noted that Hangalo “underemphasised the aggravating factors, including that the murder was committed with a direct intention, that the moral blameworthiness of the respondent was not substantially reduced, the brutality of the attack on the deceased, the lack of remorse on the side of the respondent and the seriousness and prevalence of the crime”. 

In addition, Hangalo allegedly overemphasised in favour of Hoaseb all his personal circumstances and the mitigating factors, and failed to consider the precedent of case law and sentences imposed for similar crimes.


2021-11-09  Maria Amakali

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