22 Mar 2016 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 22 MAR (NAMPA) - A young man who stands accused of hacking his mother to death with an axe at the Otjimbingwe settlement during 2013, claims he was possessed by strange unknown spirits that forced him to commit the brutal crime.
Siegfried Uirab, who was 25 at the time of the incident, killed Erika Uiras, 63, at the settlement, situated southeast of Karibib in the Erongo Region on 21 November 2013.
The deceased died of head injuries in a Windhoek hospital two days after the attack.
Uirab made the claims at the beginning of his murder trial that kicked off before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg here on Tuesday morning.
On the day of the incident, the deceased person, who is my mother, gave me some tobacco to smoke while she was outside in the yard of the house. Suddenly, while busy smoking the tobacco, some strange unknown spirits engulfed my mind and I started attacking my mother.
I hit the deceased about four times on the head with an axe and I only stopped attacking her when she fell down to the ground. After that I took the deceased inside the house and while I was washing the blood of her head, she wanted to know the reason why I was attacking her. I fully know that I had no right to kill the deceased person, Uirab said in a statement presented before court.
Uirab had initially entered a plea of guilty, but the court did not accept this plea after his claims of strange unknown spirits that allegedly forced him to commit the crime.
Instead, the presiding High Court judge entered a plea of not guilty to the count of murder on behalf of accused Uirab.
Uirab pleaded not guilty to the other two counts of attempted murder and assault by threat. He had allegedly also tried to murder his sister, Lena Uiras, by hitting her on the head with the same axe and chased another relative, Lizette Uiras, with the same weapon.
The trial continues on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Uirab had been treated at the psychiatric clinic of the Windhoek Central Hospital for about two months before the attack on his mother.
He was diagnosed with substance-induced psychosis.
Uirab remains in police custody at the Windhoek Police Station with no option to post bail since his arrest in November 2013.
Windhoek-based defence lawyer Titus Ipumbu is defending Uirab on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
State Advocate Philista Sikerete is representing the prosecution.