A Karibib resident, accused of stabbing his former girlfriend to death with a spear, has been allocated a new legal aid lawyer after his previous attorney withdrew from the case due to conflicting instructions.
Legal aid has instructed Titus Mbaeva to represent Petrus Jacobus du Plessis (52) in his ongoing murder trial after Milton Engelbrecht withdrew from the matter.
Engelbrecht managed to get a warning statement in which Du Plessis made certain admissions to a police officer, declaring inadmissible as evidence.
Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku said during her ruling that it is now common cause that when the accused was questioned by Inspector Johan Henry Gaeseb whether he wanted a lawyer, he answered in the affirmative.
“It is now also settled law that once an accused was asked whether he wanted legal representation before making a statement and he answers in the affirmative, no further questions should be put to him that may lead him to make any statement,” the judge affirmed.
She further said such interview should be brought to an end immediately, except perhaps to determine who the accused’s legal representative is in order to make further arrangements.
“Mr Gaeseb, therefore, was under an obligation to immediately stop the interview, instead of proceeding to record a warning statement from the accused,” the judge reiterated.
The State, represented by Seredine Jacobs, has in the meantime closed its case and Mbaeva is tasked to present Du Plessis’ case to the court.
Du Plessis is 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.
It is alleged he stabbed Beverly Kurangera, who was 26 years old at the time of her demise, at least eight times with a spear, and threw the spear at another woman, Alma Garises, and/or threatening to stab her and the three-year-old son of the victim with a spear.
According to the indictment, he broke into the shack of the victim by kicking open the door with the intent to murder her, and then unlawfully and intentionally kill her on 25 August 2018 at the Old Location in Karibib.
The matter was set down to 2 August for determination of new trial dates and Du Plessis remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial awaiting inmates.