11 Jul 2013 10:00
WINDHOEK, 11 JUL (NAMPA) - Three men who stood trial for having killed local taxi driver Alfons Rijatua at the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in the capital during April 2010, were all found guilty of the brutal murder.
Jackie Jackson, 22, Kaveto Pontianus Kwandu, 29, and 39-year-old Isaskar Nau-Gaweseb were all found guilty as charged in a verdict delivered by Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on Thursday.
They were each found guilty on a charge of murder with a direct intention to kill, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, following the death of Rijatua, 42, who was killed by a single shotgun blast at close range in the chest during the night of 18 April 2010.
The trio was, however, found not guilty on a charge of theft because the State could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the three men stole some items belonging to the deceased person shortly after the murder.
?The three accused persons were present at the scene of the crime when the deceased person was shot dead that fateful day. All three accused had planned and lured the deceased person to take them to the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium with the intention of robbing and killing him.
The three accused persons acted with a common purpose, and each of them played a crucial role in the robbing and killing of the deceased person. And for the accused to shoot the deceased person in the chest, indicates a clear intention to kill,? explained the judge.
Shivute added that she is, therefore, satisfied that the State proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt that the trio acted with a common purpose to rob and kill Rijatua.
The court rejected the three accused persons' testimonies and other evidence as mere fabrications and after-thoughts.
During submissions before judgement in April this year, State-appointed defence lawyers Trevor von Brockerhoff and Brownell Uirab for accused Jackson and Nau-Gaweseb, respectively, blamed the senseless killing of the taxi driver squarely on accused number two, Kwandu.
However, Kwandu's defence lawyer Mese Tjituri did not take any of that lying down, and wanted to know what, if anything, Kwandu gained from the alleged killing and robbery.
State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu had asked the court to find all three accused persons guilty on the murder and robbery charges.
She told the court that all the accused persons acted in concert, and with a common purpose when they decided to rob and murder their hapless victim.
Ndlovu also told the court that it was a pre-conceived plan by the three accused persons to lure the late taxi driver to the stadium and rob and/or kill him.
The defence represented the three convicted men on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
The trio was remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells until they return to court on a yet-to-be established date to hear evidence in mitigation and aggravation of sentence.