Simon De Witt Bridge killer says he’s sorry

Home Crime and Courts Simon De Witt Bridge killer says he’s sorry


An eleventh hour attempt to solicit sympathy from the judge could very well backfire on Willem Titus (Keffs), who has been convicted of murder and robbery.

Keffs, who admitted killing his live-in girlfriend under the Simon De Witt Bridge in Windhoek North in March 2012, was also convicted of robbing her.

In a letter addressed to Judge Dinah Usiku, Keffs pleaded for mercy from the court, saying: “I fear incarceration,” and asked the judge to be lenient on him. The letter could, however, prove to be the catalyst for a long jail sentence.

Should the judge accept the arguments of State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi that the letter is merely a ruse to win sympathy from the court and not a genuine token of remorse, he (Keffs) could possibly have made it worse for himself.

According to Lutibezi, the mere fact that the letter was addressed to the judge and not the family of the deceased demonstrates aptly that Keffs has no regrets about killing the victim. He went on to say Keffs even went to the extent of mocking family members of the deceased when they were in court.

According to Lutibezi, the convict – as he resorted to calling him – is not a suitable candidate for rehabilitation and should be removed from society.

He said Keffs made several threats towards the deceased, although they were in a romantic relationship in that he lived with her, dined with her and slept with her, and killed her instead of protecting her.

He reminded Judge Usiku that evidence was produced in the trial that Keffs told his victim in front of family members that he would take her life by March 2012.

According to Lutibezi, the threat was made in December 2011 and Keffs had three months to reconsider his threat. On March 1 the next year he took a knife, followed the deceased and killed her, just as he had promised.

Lutibezi asked the court to impose consecutive sentences on the murder and robbery charges in the region of 40 and 15 years respectively.

At the start of his trial Keffs admitted stabbing Antoinette April several times, with the intention to kill her, but denied robbing her. He said he took her possessions, including her handbag and watch, to keep it from being stolen from her lifeless body.
Judge Usiku, however, did not see it that way and convicted him of robbery with aggravating circumstances on top of the murder conviction.

The State-funded lawyer of Keffs conceded that a custodial sentence was inevitable, but urged the court to err on the side of caution.
Hipura Ujaha argued that Keffs is a first offender, who acted on the spur of the moment and did not plan the murder, as the State alleges.

He said various authorities exist that will allow the court to impose a reformative, rather than retributive, sentence.
Ujaha asked the court not to break the accused with a severe sentence, but to give him a chance to reform himself and become a productive member of society again. He left the length of the sentence to the discretion of the court, but asked that the sentences on the two convictions run concurrently.

The trail has now been postponed to April 14 at 14h00 for the sentence to be imposed.
The killer remains in custody.