A man who was accused of killing his aunt in the Kavango West region by whipping her with a donkey halter and kicking her has been found guilty on a charge of murder in a High Court sitting at Rundu.
Judge president Petrus Damaseb convicted Kandjimi Haingura of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, after concluding that an assault which Haingura carried out on his aunt at Gcigco, a village in Kavango West, on 12 June 2020 caused her death, that he was indifferent whether the assault would cause her death, and that he intended to bring about her death.
Behatta Nipembe (57) died of internal injuries that she sustained when she was assaulted. Her liver was ruptured as a result of the assault.
Haingura told the court that Nipembe often nagged, him of riding neighbours’ donkeys, and that he assaulted her because of those allegations she had made against him.
Haingura, who also told the court he is unsure of his age, but thinks he is 23 years old, admitted that he assaulted Nipembe with a donkey halter, slapped her in the face and that he also kicked her on her ribs. He claimed he kicked her three times only.
He denied that he intended to kill her.
In the judgement that he delivered on Thursday, Damaseb said it was apparent that Haingura was upset with Nipembe and that the assault on her was a reaction to what he perceived as her nagging.
He remarked that the medical evidence before the court showed the assault on Nipembe had been a vicious one.
“The victim stood no chance of surviving,” Damaseb noted. “She was bound to die even with the best medical intervention. The severity of the assault further becomes apparent from the state in which [Nipembe] was after the assault. She was unable to walk on her own. [Haingura] even by his own admission had to drag her to her room.”
Damaseb also said: “[Nipembe’s] death may not have been his objective, but the inference is inescapable that he foresaw that death might result, but was not deterred thereby and reconciled himself to that possibility.
“In other words, in his settled intent to teach the deceased a lesson by assault, he was indifferent to whether it may result in her death. Under our law, he had formed the intention to kill.”
Haingura is due to return to court to be sentenced tomorrow.
He is being represented by defence lawyer Petrine Hango, instructed by the Directorate of Legal Aid.
Deputy prosecutor general Ruben Shileka is representing the state.