A Windhoek man this week maintained his innocence in a murder case before Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya. The 57-year-old Benjamin Strong, who is currently on trial, denied any involvement in the killing of Johanna Resandt (62).
Strong is conducting his own defence and is facing one charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, two charges of assault and one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
According to the State, Strong murdered Resandt by stabbing her at least 12 times with a knife in the chest, causing her death, and also tried to kill another person who tried to come to the aid of the victim by stabbing him at least seven times all over his body.
Prior to the murder, the State is alleging Strong assaulted the deceased twice by kicking her and slapping her with the intent to seriously injure her. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the indictment, the deceased and Strong were in a romantic relationship as they co-habited and that during the evening of 16 September 2017, the deceased, the accused and the complainant in the attempted murder charge, Phillip Ghadi Matsaya, were socialising together 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 hours of the next day, 17 September and Strong then stabbed the deceased several times and when Matsaya tried to intervene, he was also stabbed several times and pushed against a stove which caused him to black out.
During his testimony this week, Strong denied the allegations and told the court that he was separated from the deceased for about two weeks before the incident and that he ended the relationship because the deceased became rowdy when she was drunk. He further said that on the Friday, 15 September 2017, the deceased called at his place of work and asked him to come to her place after work and buy her beer. As it was his pay weekend, he agreed, Strong said.
He went on to say that when he arrived at the residence of the deceased, he found Matsaya there and he then proceeded to buy some beers and wine, which they consumed. The next day, Strong said, they continued consuming alcohol until he left both Resandt and Matsaya and went to his place of residence to sleep.
He went on to say that when he returned to the shack of the deceased the next morning, he found Matsaya sitting up with wounds on his chest area and the deceased lying in a pool of blood on a mattress. “I then asked Ghadi what happened and he told me a man came into the shack during the night and stabbed them,” Strong said. He further said that Matsaya could not say who this person was and only said it was a man. He then wanted to call the police, but had left his cellphone on charge at his residence and when he enquired from Matsaya as to whether he had called the police he was told Matsaya’s phone was flat.
“I then decided to return to where I charged my phone in order to call the police, but on my way back saw the police and ambulance at the place where the incident occurred and decided to instead go to another friend to inform him of what happened,” Strong stated.
The trial was postponed to 23 March, while the suspect is remanded in custody. Ian Malumani is appearing for the prosecution, while Milton Engelbrecht is defending Strong on instructions of legal aid.
2020-03-13 07:59:49 | 6 months ago