Murder accused Rickerts' judgement on Thursday

24 Feb 2016 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 24 FEB (NAMPA) – Judgement in the case of Bryan Edward Rickerts, who allegedly stabbed a shebeen owner to death at Rehoboth in the Hardap Region, will be handed down on Thursday.
Rickerts, 37, 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 was scheduled to re-appear before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg for the handing down of judgement in his alleged murder case on Wednesday, but was absent for a second time as he is still admitted to the Katutura State Hospital's TB (tuberculosis) Unit.
A report on Rickerts' health condition compiled by the medical practitioner at the TB Unit and delivered in court on Wednesday morning indicates that the accused is quarantined in efforts to minimise the spread of the disease to other people.
Judge Liebenberg, however, instructed the police to bring the accused before court, wearing protective surgical masks for the handing down of judgement on Thursday at about 10h00.
This was decided on after an agreement between Rickerts' Government-sponsored lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht and prosecution representative, State Advocate Jack Eixab.
On 09 February this year, Rickerts, in a written statement handed in before court by his defence lawyer, said he couldn’t recall any event before, during or after the alleged incident because he was completely inebriated.
“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.”
Rickerts also strongly dismissed as false evidence a statement by State witness Helga Helen van Wyk, in which she told the court that he arrived at the 'Tina Lager Shebeen' armed with two knives, allegedly looking for “strong people to stab”.
He further denied all allegations contained in the charge sheet in respect of a second count of obstructing the course of justice for allegedly hiding the two knives he used in the incident behind a corrugated iron shack dwelling, and having threatened to kill Helga and other State witnesses, Albertus Josef Sneiders and Brenda van Wyk.
Rickerts had allegedly on various occasions threatened to stab to death the three State witnesses between 25 December 2014 and 11 January 2015 while he was free on bail, to prevent them from testifying in his trial.
A statement of facts contained on the charge sheet has it that Rickerts arrived at the shebeen on the day of the incident 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 but was later arrested and held in police custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility before he was taken to the TB hospital.