Duo found guilty of murdering German flight instructor

16 Aug 2013 12:41
WINDHOEK, 16 AUG (NAMPA) – The two men accused of robbing and murdering a German flight instructor in Windhoek in 2005 were found guilty as charged in the High Court here on Friday.
The two men - Dumingu Zuzee da Costa, 41, and 34-year-old Joseph Wasuka Nunda - were found guilty of robbing and murdering German flight instructor, Ralph Kohnke, in Windhoek on 26 December 2005 by High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo.
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, alternatively violating a dead human body by setting the deceased's body alight shortly after the killing incident.
“In this case, the State has established a strong case against the two accused persons. The confessions and other self-incriminating statements of the accused persons which they made to the police in this matter placed them clearly on the scene of the crime. In the result, both accused men are convicted as charged. On the count of murder, the two men are found guilty of murder with a direct intent to kill,” Judge Ndauendapo said while handing down the judgement.
In their written submissions for judgement, defence lawyers Advocate Winnie Christiaans and Christian Nambahu had unsuccessfully asked the court to discharge their clients, claiming that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused were involved in the commission of the alleged crimes.
On her part, State Advocate Belinda Wantenaar, who appeared for the prosecution, asked the court to find the two men guilty as charged.
On 13 July last year, the duo suffered a heavy blow when the confessions and self-incriminating statements they made to the police investigation team were admitted as evidence in court.
These statements were used as evidence by the State in the main trial.
Both Da Costa and Nunda men pleaded not guilty to counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, alternatively violating a dead human body, when their main trial started before Judge 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 that 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.
Advocate Christiaans and Nambahu are representing the two men on instruction of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
They were remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells until 10 February 2014, when they return to court for the submissions of evidence before sentencing.
(NAMPA)
SKE/AS