20 years in jail for German flight instructor's killing

19 Jun 2014 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 19 JUN (NAMPA) – Two men found guilty of robbing and murdering a German flight instructor in Windhoek in 2005, were each sentenced to an effective 20 years’ imprisonment term on Thursday.
Dumingu Zuzee da Costa, 44 , and 37-year-old Joseph Wasuka Nunda were punished by High Court judge Nate Ndauendapo after he had earlier found them guilty of robbing and murdering German flight instructor Ralph Kohnke in Windhoek on 26 December 2005.
Both men were found guilty of murder with a direct intent to kill, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, or alternatively violating a dead human body by setting the deceased's body alight shortly after the killing incident.
On the first count of murder with a direct intent to kill, the two men were each sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.
On the second count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, the duo was each sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
They each got five years on the last count of obstructing the course of justice, alternatively violating a dead human body by setting the deceased's body alight.
It was then ordered that the sentences imposed on the last two counts run concurrently with the sentence of 20 years imposed on the murder count.
As a result, the two men were thus each sent to jail for a total of 20 years.
“The murder of the deceased person was completely senseless. It was clearly well-planned in advance. The two men showed no signs of remorse for their wrong actions during the whole trial. Therefore, a long custodial sentence would be an appropriate punishment in this matter,” said judge Ndauendapo as he imposed the sentence.
On 13 July 2012, Da Costa and Nunda suffered a heavy blow when the confessions and self-incriminating statements they had made to the police investigating team were admitted as evidence in court.
Both men pleaded not guilty to all counts when their main trial started before Ndauendapo in the High Court in Windhoek on 17 September 2009.
In the matter, the burned remains of the 34-year-old flight instructor were found in the Goreangab Dam area in Windhoek on 29 December 2005.
Kohnke was struck on the head with a brick or other object, and died due to a skull fracture.
The prosecution said after Kohnke was killed, Da Costa and Nunda loaded his body into a car, transported it to the area where he was later found and then set the body on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence of the alleged assault.
It was also said the two men stole goods including computer equipment, tools, a safe, two firearms and an unknown amount of money in cash from Kohnke's house after he had been killed.
The duo was remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells for nine years until the finalisation of their trial today.
Government-sponsored defence lawyers, Advocate Winnie Christiaans and Christiaan Nambahu represented them, acting on the instructions of the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid.
State Advocate Belinda Wantenaar appeared for the prosecution.