Ex-security guard found guilty of bartender’s murder

14 Feb 2018 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 14 FEB (NAMPA) - A former security guard who allegedly raped and killed a bartender in Katutura almost six years ago, was on Wednesday found guilty.
Moses Ndiweda Puleni, 29, was found guilty of raping bartender Paulina Nghidinitango, 18, before killing her by strangling her with his bare hands and smothering her with a towel at a shebeen in Albert Conradie Street in Katutura on 31 December 2011.
The former security guard was also found guilty on a third charge of theft when he stole N.dollars 55 000 in cash, two mobile phones, a pair of spectacles, three wallets, liquor, boxes of cigarettes, airtime vouchers and two identity documents belonging to the deceased and witness Josef Matine Siwombe from the shebeen.
Puleni was found in possession of N.dollars 18 000 in cash when he was arrested at his home village of Okayuva in the Ohangwena Region on 02 January 2012.
The former security guard was found guilty as charged by the prosecution in a judgement handed down by High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo.
The judge said he was satisfied that the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Puleni was the last person seen in the company of the deceased bartender, that he broke the safe kept in a room at the shebeen and stole the money before killing Nghidinitango.
In his submission during trial in October 2017, State Advocate Dominic Lisulo said Puleni mercilessly committed the offences against the innocent woman and, therefore, should be found guilty as charged by the State.
In September 2016, Puleni suffered a heavy blow when his confession and other self-incriminating statements were ruled admissible by the court, and in the process were used against him during trial.
He vehemently denied any involvement in the rape and murder of Nghidinitango when he entered a not guilty plea to the charges at the start of his trial in the Windhoek High Court in 2016.
Evidence presented by State witnesses during trial had it that Puleni and the late Nghidinitango were together at the shebeen and he at a later stage attacked her with a piece of cable or wire.
He then proceeded to rape and kill her.
Puleni was arrested three days after the incident.
He remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until 31 May 2018 for the presentation of the mitigation and aggravation of sentence.
State-funded defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji is representing Puleni.