The trial of an Okahandja resident, accused of killing a man and burying him with two dogs on his father’s farm seven years ago, is set to start afresh next year.
The trial of Karl Friedrich Eichhoff (37) was partly heard by magistrate Elina Nandago, who left the judiciary earlier this year. Thus, the matter now has to start over, according to state prosecutor Menencia Hinda.
Magistrate Alexis Diergaadt last Friday postponed the matter to 6 September 2021, for plea and trial.
The prosecution is charging Eichhoff with a count murder, defeating or obstructing the course of justice or attempting to do so and ill-treatment of animals.
The charges emanate from a shooting incident that took place on Eichhoff’s father’s farm in Okahandja district on 6 October 2013.
The prosecution is alleging that Eichhoff shot and killed Cornelius Slinger (51) and attempted to conceal the crime by burying the body into a warthog alongside two dogs that he also shot.
At the start of his trial in June 2017, Eichhoff pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and animal cruelty but admitted guilt on a count of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
In his plea explanation, he explained to the court that he did not see any human being at the scene where he had fired shots at four dogs that were on the farm.
But he admitted that one of the shots he had fired might have struck Slinger and caused his death.
He explained that on the day in question, he was at the water point on the farm when he heard dogs barking. He allegedly started walking in their direction to see what was going on, as they had issues of poachers on the farm.
He approached a busy area and came across four dogs and he started shooting at them. As a result of the shooting, he killed two dogs. After he got closer to the dogs, he allegedly saw a man lying dead under a bush.
Due to fear and panic, he decided to bury Slinger alongside the dead dogs in warthog holes that were at the scene.
Slinger’s body was discovered two days later after a search party was carried out by the police and residents from a neighbouring resettlement farm, where Slinger lived.
Eichhoff confessed and was arrested and showed the police where he had buried Slinger.
According to the post-mortem report, Slinger died from blood loss caused by a gunshot wound. The fatal bullet struck him on his right leg just below the buttock, went through the leg, nearly destroyed his private parts, and entered his left leg.
The report further indicates that Slinger was walking or running when he got shot.
Eichhoff is currently on bail until his scheduled appearance in court.