Roland Routh Windhoek-A man that maintained throughout the trial that he was not responsible for killing the mother of his eleven-month-old son with eight stab wounds to her upper body was sentenced to 32 years by High Court Judge Dinah Usiku yesterday. Eben Cloete, 31, held fast during the mitigation of sentence hearing that he did not see the need to apologise or ask for forgiveness because he did not kill the deceased, Anna Nadia Coetzee. “I am heartbroken that I was found guilty of a crime I did not commit,” Cloete said in response to a question about how he felt about the death of the deceased. He was convicted by Judge Usiku in July last year on a charge of housebreaking with intent to murder, and murder with direct intent, over the stabbing to death of Coetzee at her father’s house at Neudamm experimental farm on August 13, 2009. The judge found he was the person that broke into her bedroom and stabbed her eight times with a knife with the intention to kill her. “Accused showed a callous disregard for the integrity and privacy of the deceased’s household when he broke into the deceased’s room and killed the deceased. “The treatment meted out by the accused on the deceased, who was unarmed, was uncalled for. She was repeatedly and viciously stabbed until she died at the scene,” the judge stated. She further said that while it has become practice in Namibian courts that the period of detention while trial-awaiting may be taken into account when determining sentence, no statutory provision allows for that. In this case, however, the judge said, the accused refused to take responsibility for his actions and showed no remorse whatsoever. The judge quoted from a previous judgement in which it was held that ‘the crime of housebreaking with intent to steal and theft is prevalent and also serious. It is regarded by the law and society as a particularly serious form of theft because it is said that a man’s house is his castle. If there is one place where a person should feel safe and secure, it is his/her home. Housebreaking and theft strikes at and destroys the sense of safety and security which occupants are entitled to enjoy.’ In the present case, she said, the accused after he had broken into the deceased’s room, went on and killed her. “An innocent life was lost,” she said, adding: “Violent crimes which are being committed against women and children have reached a crisis point. Although the courts have repeatedly pronounced themselves against such evil, these crimes continue unabated, despite the severe sentences being imposed. It is clear that the community in general expects the courts to impose severe sentences for murder in order to be responsive to the outlook of the community.” The judge said she was mindful of the fact the accused is a first offender who must be treated with leniency. However, she said, the crime committed is of a serious nature and with crimes of violence against women on the rise country-wide, a clear and unequivocal message should be sent that such behaviour cannot be tolerated or condoned.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-31 09:17:26 9 months ago