22 Jun 2013 05:30
WINDHOEK, 22 JUN (NAMPA) - A man who killed a four-year-child at Maltahöhe in the Hardap Region in 2010, was found guilty as charged in the High Court here on Friday.
Niklaas Muzorongondo, 31, was found guilty of murder with direct intent for the killing of a four-year-old girl, Antoinette !Aes, at Maltahohe between 05 and 13 March 2010.
Muzorongondo was also found guilty on a second count of obstructing the course of justice to which he pleaded guilty at the beginning of the trial.
This charge stems from the fact that he buried his victim in a shallow grave in the backyard of the farmstead between 05 and 13 March 2010, and thereafter informed his grandmother and the police that she was missing.
He was found guilty as charged by High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on Friday morning.
Evidence presented by State representative, Deputy Prosecutor-General Advocate Belinda Wantenaar had it that Muzorongondo's misdirection on the toddler?s whereabouts led to a futile three-day search by the police and community members.
He only confided in his brother on the third day of the search, when the police were about to arrest him in connection with the disappearance of the child.
During his evidence-in-chief two weeks ago, Muzorongondo told the court that a 'spirit' made him pick up the deceased child and throw her to the concrete floor.
During submissions on the verdict, Wantenaar was adamant that he should have foreseen that his conduct, when he first hit the child in her stomach with clenched fists and threw her to the concrete floor, could result in her death.
She further argued that his conduct after he viciously attacked the child should be indicative to the court that he had no concerns about the extent of the injuries she might have sustained, as he did not bother to check on the extent of her injuries.
Windhoek-based defence lawyer Boris Isaacks, who appeared on behalf of Muzorongondo, wanted the court to find his client guilty on a charge of culpable homicide of negligent causing the death of the toddler instead of that of murder with a direct intent to kill.
Muzorongondo has personally admitted during the trial that he had delivered some blows that led to the death of the minor child, but denied that he had the intention to kill her.
Isaacks is representing Muzorongondo on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
Muzorongondo returns to the Windhoek High Court on 09 July this year to hear evidence of mitigation and aggravating circumstances before sentencing by both State representative Wantenaar and his defence lawyer Isaacks.