Otjiwarongo murder accused remanded in custody

12 Nov 2015 17:00pm
OTJIWARONGO, 12 NOV (NAMPA) – The man arrested on Monday in connection with the death of 26-year-old Elizabeth Ganses, whose partly burnt body was found here on 31 October, appeared in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Ivan Hoeseb, 30, appeared before Otjiwarongo Magistrate Joseph Menos Shikongo.
Shikongo explained to the accused his legal right to engage a private lawyer of his choice; apply for a State-funded lawyer through the Ministry of Justice’s Directorate of Legal Aid, or conduct his own defence in court.
The accused opted to conduct his own defence.
He faces charges of murder, robbery, rape, violation of a dead body and an attempt to defeat and/or obstruct the course of justice by burning the body of the deceased.
Hoeseb at first pleaded guilty to all charges which were read to him in court, but he later admitted only to killing her.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges of rape, stealing his victim’s mobile phone and setting the deceased’s body alight.
He repeatedly told the court that he strangled Ganses for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, and then fled the scene.
Public prosecutor Coleen Yisa, who represented the State, then opposed bail for the accused on the grounds that police investigations in the matter were still in their early stages.
Yisa added that it is not in the public interest to release Hoeseb on bail due to the seriousness of the case he is facing.
She said Hoeseb allegedly committed the murder while he was out on bail on a rape charge, adding that he might interfere with police investigations and/or the State witnesses.
Magistrate Shikongo then remanded Hoeseb in police custody and postponed the case to 10 February 2016 for the police to finalise their investigations into the matter, and also to allow the State to obtain the laboratory test results.
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Head of Operations in Otjozondjupa Region, Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb told Nampa on Wednesday that Hoeseb was arrested at Okaepe village in the Okakarara Constituency Monday evening.
He was apparently found in possession of a Nokia mobile phone that belonged to Ganses.
Khairabeb said the suspect confessed to him on Tuesday that he had killed Ganses.
He said the accused narrated that he and Ganses were socialising at a bar in the DRC informal settlement before they apparently had sexual intercourse nearby, and that he gave her N.dollars 400 as payment.
Hoeseb also allegedly told the police that while he and Ganses were on their way to a night club, Ganses’ boyfriend called her and told her to go home and sleep, after which Ganses decided not to proceed to the club.
The suspect allegedly insisted that they have sex again, but a quarrel erupted between them, and this reportedly led to a physical fight during which he strangled Ganses and later raped her, removed some of her clothes and set her lifeless body alight.
At the magistrate’s office in Otjiwarongo on that same Tuesday, the suspect apparently confessed in a written statement that he killed Ganses after she told him she was HIV-positive.
He said Ganses only told him this after they had sexual intercourse three times without any protection.
He also admitted that he strangled her for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until her body was motionless.
Ganses’ chest, face and hair were partly burnt, while a stab wound was visible on her private parts.
The suspect has several pending criminal cases of rape, robbery, house breaking, theft and illegal possession of a firearm.
These cases date back to 2012.
The suspect had been released on bail of N.dollars 800 on one of these cases in 2014.
Police investigations continue.