Murder accused Rickerts does not recall killing shebeen owner

09 Feb 2016 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 09 FEB (NAMPA) - A man who allegedly stabbed a shebeen owner to death at Rehoboth in the Hardap Region in February 2014, says he has no recollection of the incident.
The 37-year-old Bryan Rickerts is on trial in the Windhoek High Court for allegedly stabbing Shaun Roderick Beukes to death with a knife at a shebeen in Rehoboth’s Block E residential area on 07 February 2014.
He pleaded not guilty.
Rickerts, in a written statement handed in before court on Tuesday by his State-funded defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht, said he cannot recall any event before, during or after the alleged incident because he was completely drunk.
“I fully understand the two charges of murder and defeating, obstructing or attempting to defeat the course of justice levelled against me by the State. But, as I am speaking now, I do not remember anything about what had happened that day.
“I cannot admit or deny that I killed the deceased person because I was completely under the influence. And for this reason, I cannot remember anything about the alleged killing incident,” explained Rickerts while telling the court he had no intention to kill Beukes.
The accused stated that he has no recollection of the event because he allegedly suffered from temporary non-pathological insanity or criminal incapacity before and at the time of the commission of the crime as a result of a heavy drinking spree that day.
Rickerts also strongly dismissed as false evidence of a statement by State-witness Helga Helen van Wyk in which she told the court that accused Rickerts arrived at the 'Tina Lager Shebeen' armed with two knives, allegedly looking for “strong people to stab”.
He further denied all the allegations contained in the charge sheet in respect of a second count of obstructing the course of justice for allegedly hiding two knives behind a corrugated iron shack dwelling he used in the incident and having threatened to kill Helga and other State witnesses Albertus Josef Sneiders and Brenda van Wyk.
He had allegedly on various occasions threatened to stab to death the three State witnesses between 25 December 2014 and 11 January last year while he was free on bail.
A statement of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet has it that the accused arrived at the shebeen on the day and found Beukes taking an afternoon nap.
It is further alleged that Rickerts then proceeded to sharpen two knives he had in his possession and when Beukes woke up, he (Rickerts) allegedly remarked that Beukes was “one of those strong men” and stabbed the deceased once in the chest, causing death due to an injury to the heart.
Rickerts then ran away.
He allegedly later threatened to kill the three State witnesses to prevent them from testifying in his trial.
The trial continues on Wednesday, and Rickerts remains in police custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.
Engelbrecht is defending accused Rickerts on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.