Woman sent to prison for murder, has second murder case pending

24 Sep 2014 17:30pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 24 SEP (NAMPA) – A woman from Koes who stabbed her boyfriend to death with a knife on 19 April 2008, was on Wednesday sentenced to 18 years imprisonment by the Keetmanshoop Regional Court.
Christina Hatzkin, 28, stood trial before Regional Court Magistrate Sunsley Zisengwe, who suspended two years of the sentence on condition that the accused is not found guilty of a similar offense during the period of suspension.
Hatzkin was 22 years old when she killed Cornelius van der Byl, the father to her two boys.
Van der Byl died from three stab wounds - one pierced his heart and one pierced his lungs.
On the day of the murder, Hatzkin was hit and kicked by the deceased and verbally abused.
Zisengwe said in sentencing Hatzkin that he took into account mitigating factors that she was a first offender; youthful at the time; and had endured years of emotional, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Van der Byl.
However, the magistrate said, the court also had to consider that instead of approaching the authorities, Hatzkin decided to take the law into her own hands.
What is more aggravating, he said, is that she went home to fetch a knife and returned to look for the deceased on whom she then inflicted wounds on sensitive places of his body, fully aware it could lead to his death.
“The court accepts that you suffered severe emotional stress and added provocation by the deceased on the day of the murder. Things came to a head that day and you decided to exact revenge on your partner,” Zisengwe told Hatzkin.
“However, you acted unjustifiably, unlawfully, and there can be no excuse for taking the life of someone,” he said.
The magistrate noted that it was in the interest of society, not only to deter the accused from committing a similar crime, but also to send out a clear message to others that such acts will not go unpunished.
Meanwhile, Hatzkin has a second pending case of murdering a second boyfriend on 29 March 2012 while she was out on bail for the first offense.
Zisengwe said that even though she is presumed innocent until found guilty in the second matter, it has come to the attention of the court that there is something somewhere horribly wrong with the accused.
The State was represented by Filistas Shikerete-Vendura who had asked the court to impose a 20-year sentence with three years suspended.
The accused was defended by Stefan Coetzee on instruction of the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Directorate. He asked for a 15-year sentence with parts suspended.