Petrus Jacobus du Plessis, who was convicted of murdering his former girlfriend, Beverly Kurangera, by stabbing her at least seven times with a spear on 25 August 2018 at Old Location in Karibib, wants the court to show him mercy.
Kurangera was 26 years old at the time of her demise.
Du Plessis (54) did not testify in mitigation of sentence, but his legal aid lawyer, Laura Pack, told the court he is sorry for what transpired, and he became a born-again Christian while incarcerated.
She further said her client is a first-time offender with many dependents, who will suffer if he is sentenced to a long term of imprisonment.
Pack proposed a sentence of 15 years with five years suspended on the usual conditions.
Seredine Jacobs, on behalf of the State, said Du Plessis still does not want to take responsibility for the murder of the victim and is maintaining his defence that it was the sister of the victim who stabbed her to death while trying to stab him with the spear.
According to her, he has not shown an inch of remorse – and although he is a first-time offender at his advanced age, he has no respect for the sanctity of life.
She further repeated the mantra that the killing of women who break off relationships is ever increasing, and courts have the duty to sentence perpetrators of gender-based violence offences to severe prison terms to warn off potential offenders.
Jacobs asked the court to sentence Du Plessis to 30 years on the murder conviction and 12 months of a conviction of assault by threat.
On that count, the judge found that the State proved he threw a spear in the direction of the sister of the victim, Alma Garises, and/or threatened to stab her and the three-year old son of the victim with the spear.
He was charged with housebreaking with the intent to murder and murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, and one count of assault by threat.
According to the indictment, he broke into the house of the victim by kicking open the door with the intent to murder the victim and then unlawfully and intentionally killed her.
Du Plessis denied the allegation and instead accused the sister of the victim of the brutal murder.
According to him, he was not the one who stabbed the victim, but it was Garises.
Du Plessis claims it was she who stabbed the victim while he held her as a shield when Garises tried to stab him.
Judge Usiku said she considered the version of Du Plessis and found it to be improbable that it could not be possibly true, and she rejected it as false beyond a reasonable doubt.
The versions of the eyewitnesses were corroborated by each other, the judge said, even though there were minor inconsistencies and differences.
She found that the State proved beyond reasonable doubt that Du Plessis is guilty of housebreaking with intent to murder and murder with direct intent, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act as well as assault by threat.
The matter will return to court on 31 May for sentencing, and Du Plessis remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial awaiting inmates.