WINDHOEK - Benjamin Strong, 56, on Monday pleaded not guilty to a count of murder, read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course.
Strong made the plea before Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya.
He did not provide a plea explanation; his Legal Aid lawyer Milton Engelbrecht confirmed the plea and told the court his client will make use of his right to remain silent and put the state to the proof of each and every allegation.
According to the state, he killed 62-year-old Johanna Resandt by stabbing her at least 12 times with a knife in the chest, causing her death.
Substantive facts in the charge sheet stated he also tried to kill another person who tried to come to the aid of the deceased by stabbing him at least seven times all over his body and pushing him, causing him to fall down and lose consciousness.
The deceased and Strong were in a relationship; they lived together as husband wife. During the evening of 16 September 2017, the deceased, the accused and the complainant in the attempted murder charge Phillip Gadi Matsaya were socialising at the deceased’s residence in Otjomuise.
An argument erupted between the deceased and Strong, and he assaulted her by kicking her and beating her with his fists.
It is further alleged that another argument broke out between Strong and the deceased during the early morning hours of the next day, 17 September, and Strong then stabbed the deceased several times. When Matsaya tried to intervene, he was also stabbed several times and pushed against a stove, which caused him to blackout.
Matsaya testified on Monday about the events and said he, Strong and the deceased consumed a lot of alcohol during the evening.
According to him, he at some stage went to sleep in the ghetto of the deceased. When he woke up, he found the accused standing over the deceased with a knife, stabbing her.
He went on to narrate he then tried to stop the accused and even grabbed hold of the knife, but was instead cut on his thumb, hand and elbow, and was also stabbed three times in his stomach and twice on his right shoulder.
He was, however, at pains to explain during cross-examination why he did not tell the police that it was the accused who stabbed him and the deceased when they arrived at the scene but only informed the police later that afternoon.
Matsaya’s reply was that he was “very drunk” and uncertain, but that his memory returned during the day. He remembered what occurred and informed the police as such.
According to him, when the accused pushed against the stove, he hit his head and only again regained consciousness the next morning at around ten, when he realised the deceased has passed on.
He further said that the accused arrived at the scene at a 10h30 and he asked him what had happened, but the accused denied any knowledge and told him the deceased chased him away the previous evening and he slept somewhere else.
During cross-examination, Engelbrecht informed this witness that his client denies knowing anything of what transpired at the shack, as he was not there and that it could have been someone else or the witness himself who committed the murder, but the witness remained steadfast that he regained his memory and is certain that it was Strong who killed the deceased and tried to murder him.
The trial continues tomorrow, and Strong remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial awaiting inmates.
State Advocate Ian Malumani is prosecuting.
2019-12-04 07:53:28 | 7 months ago