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Woman appeals 12-year murder conviction

2021-06-04  Maria Amakali

Woman appeals 12-year murder conviction
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A Windhoek resident who was convicted and sentenced to serve a 12-year sentence for killing her neighbour in Katutura is appealing her conviction and sentence in the Windhoek High Court. 

In her appeal, Holtensia Kamati (34) says the regional court erred and misdirected itself when it convicted her of murder without a direct intention to kill.

She also claims the sentence imposed by the court induces a sense of shock, is harsh, unfair, and manifestly excessive in view of the circumstances around the incident. 

In January, magistrate Ileni Velikoshi convicted Kamati of murder with direct intent for the death of her neighbour Johannes Kapewasha. 

Velikoshi, thereafter, sentenced her to serve 12-years-imprisonment.

In his judgement, Velikoshi indicated that although the evidence presented during the trial showed that Kamati did not intend to bring about the death of Kapewasha when she threw a brick at his head in a bar in Windhoek on 15 November 2018, she foresaw that he could be killed. 

The court concluded that Kamati acted recklessly, used excessive force and determination when she attacked Kapewasha from the back without notice. 

The blow to his head, which fractured his skull, killed Kapewasha.

Before Kamati inflicted the fatal injury, she and Kapewasha had been involved in a physical fight while at a bar during which they threw stones at each other.

Following the confrontation, Kamati’s boyfriend allegedly tried to diffuse the argument by removing her from the bar and locking her inside their shack. 

However, she allegedly escaped without her partner’s knowledge. 

It is alleged after escaping from the shack, Kamati returned to the bar, approached Kapewasha from behind and hit him with a brick on his head and he collapsed to the ground. 

Kapewasha died on the spot from the fatal blow to the head. The incident happened at the bar, where the suspect resides.

In her appeal, Kamati says magistrate Velikoshi failed to appreciate or take into account the fact that she was acting under an emergency situation brought about by Kapewasha who first launched an unprovoked, unwarranted and unlawful violent attack on her. She says the attack caused her serious head injuries and she had to be taken to Katutura Intermediate Hospital for treatment. 

“The magistrate overemphasised the injuries of the deceased (Kapewasha) whilst completely disregarding and downplaying the fact that the deceased was the aggressor who firstly violently attacked the appellant (Kamati),” reads the notice of appeal. 

Kamati further claims Velikoshi misdirected himself when he refused the notion that Kamati was acting in self-defence when she threw the same brick that Kapewasha hit her with. 

The State has indicated their intent to oppose the appeal. Yesterday, Judge Christie Liebenberg scheduled the appeal hearing to take place on 2 July before appeal judges Boas Usiku and Claudia Claasen. 

-mamakali@nepc.com.na


2021-06-04  Maria Amakali

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