Three deny killing elderly farmer in Usakos area in 2015

15 May 2019 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 15 MAY (NAMPA) – Three people on trial in the High Court for the alleged murder of Usakos farmer, Willem de Klerk in October 2015, on Wednesday each denied committing the offence.
The trio - Karel Claasen, 34, Dion Haraseb, 24, and Zelda Harases, 22, denied committing the offence at the start of their alleged murder trial before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg Wednesday morning.
They each entered not guilty pleas to the charges against them in the presence and in accordance with instructions they gave their State-funded defence lawyers - Mese Tjituri, Mbanga Siyomuinji and Ileni Gebhardt.
However, Haraseb pleaded guilty to the charges of being found in possession of an illegal firearm, ammunition, using or driving a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and attempting to defeat the course of the administration of justice.
First State witness in the case, Emmelda Tsamases in her evidence before court said accused Claasen and Harases arrived at her house in Windhoek a few days after the incident with a lot of grocery items, after which Claasen allegedly informed her that something big happened at the farm and that he was scared to go and report the incident to police at Karibib or Usakos.
Tsamases added that Claasen further told her while in the presence of Harases that co-accused Haraseb had allegedly shot the elderly farmer dead at his farm house that 19 October.
All three accused persons were employed at the deceased’s farm at the time of the alleged killing incident.
De Klerk, who lived alone at the farm after his wife died earlier in 2015, was shot twice with his own firearm, which the accused had allegedly stolen from his vehicle.
It is further alleged that after the murder, the accused hid his body in an old water tank, broke into his house, stole some of his belongings and loaded them into the truck.
The loot included two rifles, gas bottles, clothes, sheep and karakul skins, food, a digital camera and cash.
They then allegedly drove off with the truck, but it broke down between Usakos and Karibib, after which they abandoned the truck and hitchhiked to Windhoek and Swakopmund, where they were arrested.
All stolen items, except for some of the money, were recovered by the police.
Claasen and Haraseb remain in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility’s trial-awaiting section, while Harases is free on warning.
The late De Klerk’s farm, Villa Rosa, is located some 47 kilometres from Usakos in the Erongo Region.