Man in bar murder case failing to raise funds for lawyer

07 May 2018 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 07 MAY (NAMPA) – A Windhoek resident on trial in the High Court for the multiple stabbings of a woman he met at a bar here in August 2015, is struggling to raise funds to pay his privately-instructed defence lawyer.
Lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji told High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka Monday that his client, Elwin Ganaxab, has up to date failed to fulfil his commitments for the payment of the legal fees. He said the accused has not yet secured the needed funds as he promised to do when the case was previously postponed on 10 July 2017.
Ganaxab’s trial was on Monday put on hold until Tuesday morning to allow him to sort out his problems to raise funds for his private legal representation.
The remand was effected as per agreement reached in court by Siyomuinji and State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi.
In the matter, Cathy Marlene Gatonye, 40, originally from Otjiwarongo, had her chest sliced open during the horrific stabbings. Her internal organs were exposed when she was found on the night of 19 August 2015, before she died two days later in the Katutura State Hospital.
The 38-year-old Ganaxab denied the stabbings when he entered a ‘not guilty’ plea to the count of murder in July last year.
Ganaxab also denied a second count of attempted murder in that on the same day, he had assaulted a friend of the deceased person - Thalitha Patricia Kai-Gu Mungunda - with an alleged intention to kill her.
Ganaxab denied the charges in accordance with the instructions he gave his defence lawyer and opted to remain silent without disclosing the basis of his ‘not guilty’ pleas, thereby challenging the State to prove the allegations against him.
A summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet has it that the late Gatonye was allegedly in the company of three other female friends in a bar in Khomasdal, where they met Ganaxab, who apparently offered to pay for their drinks.
At one point, Ganaxab is alleged to have asked one of the four women with a car to drive him to an ATM machine, where he withdrew money. They all then drove back to the bar for more drinks.
When they left the bar, the women apparently cracked jokes with Ganaxab in the car, but he allegedly snapped at one point and started stabbing Gatonye indiscriminately.
When the driver eventually stopped the vehicle, two of the women fled the scene, and Ganaxab and Gatonye landed on the roadside, while the driver drove away to report the matter to the police.
Ganaxab is free on warning in respect of the brutal stabbings and was warned to appear before court on Tuesday.
He, however, came to court on Monday straight from the Katutura Police Station holding cells, where he is in custody on another separate criminal matter.