“He intended to kill the deceased by the most brutal means.
“He intended it to be painful.
“He portrayed utter contempt for human life.”
With these remarks, High Court judge president Petrus Damaseb set the stage to sentence a panga killer to a term of life imprisonment at the end of his trial in the High Court sitting at Rundu on Thursday last week.
Photographs showing the injuries that led to the death of Paula Kandambo Sindendere (24) after she had been attacked with a panga are sickening, Damaseb commented while sentencing a former romantic partner of Sindendere, Markus Sivute Olavi Nduno (35).
“They are pictures not to be seen by the faint-hearted,” Damaseb said, recording that the photos show Sindendere was nearly decapitated and that her hands were almost cut off in the attack that Nduno carried out on her – an indication that she must have raised her arms in an attempt to protect her head while Nduno was hacking her with a panga.
“This crime involves cruelty and brutality, the like of which one hopes not to have the misfortune of ever encountering again,” Damaseb added.
Nduno admitted guilt on a charge of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, when his trial began on Tuesday last week.
In a plea statement given to the court, he admitted that he killed Sindendere at Ou-Cordon, a village in the Rundu district, on 15 October 2017 by hitting her repeatedly with a panga.
Nduno stated that he carried out the attack in anger after Sindendere had told him she no longer wanted to look after the son born from their past relationship.
He also said Sindendere had told him she had been pregnant with a second child fathered by him, but she had terminated that pregnancy.
Their son was about to turn one year of age when Nduno took Sindendere’s life.
During a presentence hearing, Sindendere’s mother told the court she is taking care of her daughter’s two children, but is not receiving a child-care grant from the state to help support Nduno’s son.
When asked twice whether he would assist Sindendere’s mother to enable her to register for a childcare grant for his son, Nduno said he would not do so, Damaseb recounted.
Nduno’s stance did not go down well with the judge.
Damaseb commented that his “total lack of remorse and nauseating lack of empathy for his child with [Sindendere], who is now suffering because of his dastardly deed, places him beyond the pale”.
Damaseb also remarked: “This man is a personification of evil. The cruelty and hatred that this crime represents makes its perpetrator unfit to live a normal life in the community.”
Nduno deserved the severest penalty allowed under the law, Damaseb also said, before sentencing him to life imprisonment.
The judge directed that a copy of his sentencing judgement should be delivered to Namibia’s ombudsman, who should assist Sindendere’s mother to register to receive a childcare grant for the son that Nduno had with her daughter.
Legal aid lawyer Petrus Grusshaber represented Nduno during his trial.
The state was represented by deputy prosecutor general Ruben Shileka.