A Gobabis resident, who admitted he killed his girlfriend of eight months by stabbing her in her heart with a piece of wire, was sentenced to an effective 29 years imprisonment yesterday by Windhoek High Court Judge Claudia Claasen.
The judge convicted Axarob Thys (26) on his own admission of murder with direct intent, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act on 12 April.
Thys admitted he killed Elfriede Afrikaner – a mother of three children – on 29 November 2019 in a fit of jealousy after he was informed that the victim intended to spend the night with her ex-boyfriend.
According to a statement read into the record, Thys was told by another woman that the victim, with whom he was in an intimate relationship, planned to cheat on him with her ex. Consumed with anger and under the influence of liquor, he went to “discipline” her but instead killed her by stabbing her once in the heart – puncturing her aorta – with a solid wire at least 5mm in diameter.
The deceased died on the spot.
According to Claasen, while the accused is a first-time offender, who pleaded guilty, took the court into his confidence and showed genuine remorse but the nature of the crime by far outweighs his personal circumstances.
She said the murder was committed in a domestic setting, which is aggravating.
“Murder is a serious crime, which not only deprives the deceased of her life, but also has dire consequences for those left behind,” she said.
“Siblings are left behind and children are left without a primary caregiver and with a void that no one else can fill.”
She went on to say that Thys had time to reconsider his actions.
He had time to go home, collect the murder weapon and inflict the fatal wound, she recounted, saying he could have used this time to rethink his steps.
“The murder of women at the hands of their intimate partners continues unabated, despite Namibia ratifying several treaties and enacting laws designed to curb the scourge of violence against women and children,” she stressed.
The judge went on to say that despite this, the blood of women continues flowing through the actions of men.
This, she said, could be the result of our patriarchal society that still sees women as possessions and where men are to assert their dominance through violence.
“This phenomenon has no place in our society,” the judge asserted.
She further said that it is an irony that through his actions, the very thing Thys wanted to prevent – abandonment – came through as he lost her forever.
In the circumstances, she said, a lengthy custodial sentence is unavoidable.