WINDHOEK – Guilty was the verdict on all eight charges that Walvis Bay resident Piet Kondjele Nakanene faced in the Windhoek High Court, as handed down by Judge Dinnah Usiku yesterday.
He was convicted on two charges of housebreaking with intent to rape and rape, three counts of rape, two counts of attempted murder, one count of murder and one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
Nakanene denied guilt on all charges at the start of his trial in February last year.
According to Judge Usiku all three complainants in their respective cases testified that they were strangled by Nakanene, whom they each had known prior to their respective incidents and therefore the issue of identity do not arise.
According to the judge, the three complainants testified that they were strangled before the accused attempted or raped them. It was also confirmed by the state witnesses who found the complainants who each made a report of attempted rape immediately after the incidents.
The judge is of the view that the similar facts in each of the charges is not aimed at showing that the accused was of bad character and is therefore admissible.
“The probative value of similar fact evidence regarding the procedure adopted by the accused during his treatment of all the complainants in this case warrants its reception and does not in the light of the accused’s own evidence in that regard operate unfairly against him,” the judge remarked.
According to her, the accused did not deny socialising with any of the complainants in any way. “He places himself on three scenes,” she emphasised and continued, “The treatment of each complainants bears such striking similarity to each other in that they were each strangled before the accused attempted to commit a sexual act with each of them during the separate incidences.”
“The three victims at the time when the accused confronted them were under the influence of alcohol which made each of them vulnerable,” Judge Usiku stated.
She further said that even though a court should be cautious when drawing inferences from similar fact evidence, there is no reason why this court should not rely on similar fact evidence duly established and relevant to an issue in dispute and where the accused has maintained that the complainant each were merely fabricating evidence against him.
“The complainants in each of the incidences were clear in their respective testimonies as to how they were each treated by the accused in their cases,” she said.
With regards to the murder charge, the judge said there is only one test which is whether the evidence establishes the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt.
In this instance, the judge said, there was evidence that the accused had made prior threats to the deceased and there is evidence that the deceased was assaulted prior to being strangled to death.
She said that there is evidence that the accused killed the deceased intentionally by strangling her manually.
Nakanene, who is represented by Mpokiseng Dube, will have to return to court on October 30 for pre-sentencing procedures and he remains in custody. The State is represented by Advocate Innocencia