09 Jul 2013 09:10
WINDHOEK, 09 JUL (NAMPA) - A man who was earlier convicted of killing a four-year-child at Maltahohe in the Hardap Region during 2010, has asked the Windhoek High Court to show him some mercy when imposing punishment.
Niklaas Muzorongondo also wholeheartedly apologised to the victim's parents and relatives for the loss of their child, Antoinette !Aes.
The 31-year-old Muzorongondo was on 22 May 2013 found guilty of murder with a direct intent to kill by High Court Judge Naomi Shivute.
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 the child was missing.
In his testimony in mitigation of sentence before court through his State-appointed defence lawyer Boris Isaaks on Tuesday, Muzorongondo asked the court to show some kind of mercy when sentencing him.
?I am really feeling very bad for causing the death of the child. I ask both this court and the victim's parents and relatives for forgiveness.
I also ask this court not to send me to prison for a long period of time because I am still a young person,? he stated.
Shortly after Muzorongondo finished his evidence, the case was postponed to 25 July this year in order to allow Deputy Prosecutor-General Belinda Wantenaar to compile her written submissions on the aggravation of sentence.
Evidence presented during trial by Wantenaar had it that the convict'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 in May this year, Muzorongondo told the court that a 'spirit' made him pick up the deceased child and throw her onto 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.
Isaacks wanted the court to find his client guilty on a charge of culpable homicide, instead of murder with a direct intent to kill.
Muzorongondo admitted during the trial that he had delivered some blows which led to the death of the minor child, but denied that he had the intention to kill her.
Isaacks is representing the convict on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.