Court finds Otjiwarongo resident guilty of strangling a woman

10 Aug 2017 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 10 AUG (NAMPA) - An Otjiwarongo resident on trial for strangling a woman to death and setting her body alight in the vicinity of the army base in October 2015, was on Thursday found guilty in the High Court.
Ivan Hoebeb, 27, was facing charges of murder, rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice in respect of the death of Elizabeth Ganses.
Her partly naked and burnt body was found between the Otjiwarongo Military Base and Orwetoveni Township in the early morning hours of 31 October 2015.
Hoebeb was found guilty on the counts of murder with direct intent to kill and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice and of violating a dead body when he set her body alight in efforts to destroy the evidence shortly after murdering her by way of strangulation.
On the count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, Hoebeb was instead only found guilty of the offence of theft after a SIM card of a cellular phone that belonged to the deceased was found in his possession when he was arrested.
He was, however, acquitted on the charge of rape after the State could not prove this count beyond reasonable doubt that the accused indeed sexually violated the deceased before he strangled her to death that fateful day.
Hoebeb was found guilty in a judgement handed down by High Court Christie Liebenberg Thursday morning.
“The accused's evidence before court during trial in respect of killing of the deceased is mere fabrication and afterthoughts and is, therefore, rejected by this court as false.
“I am satisfied that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt through witnesses that Ivan Hoebeb was responsible for the death of Elizabeth Ganses,” Liebenberg said.
Hoebeb pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and did not disclose the basis of his defence.
Evidence presented during trial has it Ganses was walking along a footpath in the vicinity of the army base when Hoebeb attacked her from behind, stabbed her, removed some of her clothes and sexually violated her.
He then strangled her to death with either bare hands or by using the deceased’s trousers or belt and then set her body alight to destroy evidence.
Milton Engelbrecht is defending Hoebeb, while Henry Muhongo appeared for the prosecution.
Submissions of evidence for sentencing continues Thursday afternoon and Friday.