Man who bathed girlfriend’s corpse sentenced to life imprisonment

05 Apr 2019 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 05 APR (NAMPA) – A self-employed man from Karasburg who was in February this year found guilty in the High Court of subjecting his girlfriend to prolonged beatings until her death in 2014, was on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment.
August van Wyk, 53, was sent to jail for causing the death of his girlfriend, Katrina Waterboer, who died on 30 August 2014 after prolonged assaults and beatings.
On the first charge of murder with direct intent to kill for causing her death, Van Wyk was sentenced to life imprisonment.
On the second charge of attempting to defeat the course of justice for cleaning the victim’s dead body and dressing her in clean clothing, the Karasburg man was sent to jail for one year.
He got a five-year custodial sentence for subjecting Waterboer to prolonged assaults.
On the last charge of common assault for beating Josephine Fredericks - Waterboer’s friend - Van Wyk was sentenced to one year imprisonment.
All sentences imposed on the last three charges were ordered to run concurrently with the life imprisonment sentence handed down in respect of the first charge of murder with direct intent to kill.
In the result, Van Wyk was sent to jail for life.
High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo handed down the sentences Friday morning after he on 27 February this year found Van Wyk guilty as charged by the State.
Namibia’s prison authorities regard a life term of imprisonment as a sentence of a minimum of 20 years in jail, and according to the Prisons Act, a prisoner has to serve half of his sentence before being considered eligible for release on parole.
In his defence evidence before court during trial, Van Wyk refused to tender an apology to the victim’s family members and relatives for causing Waterboer’s death.
According to medical evidence presented before court, Waterboer had severe swelling of the soft tissue covering the head due to subcutaneous bleeding, bilateral subdural bleeding and brain swelling.
She died as a result of multiple injuries, subdural bleeding and a brain concussion.
Van Wyk will serve his life sentence at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.
Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht defended him, while State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi represented the prosecution.