Commissioner for refugees Likius Valombola has asked forgiveness from the court, the entire Namibian nation as well as the family and loved ones of late student leader Helao Ndjaba.
The 57-year-old Valombola was recently convicted of murdering Ndjaba in the Windhoek High Court.
“The loss of a young life is terrible and pains me a lot, since I have been working with the youth all my life,” he told Windhoek High Court Judge Claudia Claasen during his testimony in mitigation.
“The fact that I was responsible for the death of a young person is not only a scar on my life but a scar on my heart.”
Ndjaba died in the Katutura state hospital on 28 May 2018 after he was shot twice in the head between 18 and 19 May 2018 at the busy intersection of King Kauluma and Omuvapu streets in Katutura’s Ombili.
At the time of the conviction, Claasen narrated Valombola was reckless as regards the consequences when he fired two shots in the direction of persons on the street.
Yesterday, Valombola painted a picture of a person who was from a young age involved with young persons as a leader.
According to him, his family fled to Angola in 1976 after their village became a battleground between Swapo and the South African Defence Force.
From the age of 11, he became part of the Swapo pioneers and played a leading role.
During 1978, he said, he was chosen to be part of a group that went to Cuba for studies, where he completed a diploma in education.
In 1987, he returned to Angola before he was deployed to the Namibian health and education centre in Nyango, Zambia, where he taught grades 6 to 12 – and was also responsible for sport and culture.
In 1990, he returned to Namibia and was appointed as teacher and head of department at the Rundu Vocational High School – and as principal from 1996 to 2010 when he was appointed as deputy director at home affairs until 2015 when he was appointed as commissioner for refugees.
Valombola told the court he always had a passion to serve Namibia, especially its youth – and the killing of Ndjaba has not only touched him but the nation “because, as humans, the loss of life touches us all”.
He profusely apologised to the Namibian nation and the relatives of the victim, and asked “the Lord to console the relatives” and for the soul of the victim to rest in peace.
While he was adamant he asked his relatives to convey his condolences and remorse to the family of the victim, deputy prosecutor general Ethel Ndlovu told him the family of the victim denies Valombola’s family ever came to them or offered any financial assistance.
She said the brother of the late Ndjaba will testify no one from the Valombola clan even visited them during the time of their bereavement. She also denied the victim’s family received any monetary or other assistance from Valombola.
Valombola also told the court he is the only one who provides for his family – and if he is sent to jail, it will have a devastating effect on his family, including his elderly father and mother.
He asked the court to give him a second chance. Ndlovu, on the other hand, was unyielding in her assessment that he never gave Ndjaba a second chance when he fired straight at him with a loaded pistol.
The matter is continuing today.
Sisa Namandje is representing Valombola on instructions from Nambili Mhata.