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Thirty-three years for hammer murder

2023-03-24  Roland Routh

Thirty-three years for hammer murder

Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg yesterday sentenced 32-year-old Inock Mazala Nalisa to an effective 33 years behind bars for the murder of his 30-year-old wife Petra Njakwabo Munikonzo.

Nalisa was convicted on one count of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, and one count of defeating the course of justice. 

According to the State, after he stabbed his wife, he got rid of the weapon he used to stab her. The prosecution further alleged that he killed her by stabbing her all over her upper body and hitting her with a hammer at the back of her head following an argument. She sustained 22 stab wounds and 15 blows to the head. 

She died instantly at the scene.

According to Judge Liebenberg, the words “merciless, inhumane and brutal” comes to mind when one attempts to describe the nature and extent of the attack on the deceased. He said that one only needs to follow the media to realise that there exists widespread outrage against the ghastly crimes committed in our society and this is despite warnings issued by courts against such behaviour. 

“It is disquieting to see that these warnings seems to fall on deaf ears and that such repulsive behaviour, as demonstrated in the present matter, simply continue unabated,” Liebenberg stated. 

He went on to say that more and more voices are daily heard from society calling for an end to the unrelenting killing of vulnerable people in society. “Mostly women fall prey to murderers who, in the end, are unable to own up or explain their deplorable behaviour, like in the present instance where the accused fabricated a story, claiming loss of memory,” the judge said. He went on to say the remorse the accused proffered was not genuine as he did not take the court into his confidence and his apology was nothing more than a bold statement. 

Judge Liebenberg continued that the fact that Nalisa took the life of the person he chose to spend the rest of his life with, a person only 30 years of age and the mother of a 10-year-old girl is most aggravating. In fact, the judge said, the trauma this young child had to suffer when she witnessed the murder of her mother and the difficulties she experienced subsequent thereto is immeasurable. 

“It should not just be accepted by the courts that the affected persons will be able to cope afterwards without taking into account the agony and suffering they and others must endure as the result of the emotional hurt and pain caused by the offender,” the judge remarked. 

Although the court must never lose sight of the personal circumstances and needs of an offender, or accord little weight to his interest, the court is under an equal duty to protect law-abiding citizens and innocent victims of crime, he further said. 

“Where necessary, such persons must be removed from society for as along as justifiable in the circumstances,” judge Liebenberg stated and continued: The seriousness of the crimes and the interest of society outweighs the personal circumstances of the accused significantly and custodial sentences are unavoidable. In the end, the judge sentenced Nalisa to 33 years on the murder conviction and two years on the defeating conviction. He however ordered that the sentences are to run concurrently.

Pic: Nalisa

Caption: Inock Nalisa

Photo: File 

2023-03-24  Roland Routh

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