A man from Ariamsvlei in the Karasburg district, who allegedly poured petrol on the body of his girlfriend and mother of his 13-month-old baby girl, made his second appearance in the Windhoek High Court last week before Judge Christie Liebenberg.
His legal aid lawyer Petrus Grushaber asked the court for a postponement to reply to the State’s pre-trial memorandum, as he did not have a chance to consult his client due to logistical problems.
The judge granted the request and postponed the matter to 18 November.
Manfred Links (30) is facing one charge of murder and two charges of attempted murder, all read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.
It is alleged by the State that on 1 January 2020, he unlawfully and intentionally assaulted Michelle Roelph with whom he was in a relationship with.
He allegedly poured petrol on her, and set her alight with the intention to kill her.
Roelph succumbed to injuries on 12 January 2020 at a Keetmanshoop hospital.
It is further alleged that on 1 January, the suspect assaulted the victim by hitting her with a belt all over her body and strangling her manually and with a belt with the intention to kill her.
The State further charges that Links also tried to kill his daughter by dousing her with petrol and setting her alight, causing her to sustain serious burn wounds on arms and feet.
According to the summary of substantial facts in the indictment, the accused and the victim lived together in the Vergenoeg location of Ariamsvlei.
On New Year’s Day 2020, an argument erupted between them, leading to the brutal attack.
In an attempt to free herself, the victim managed to stab the accused in the arm with scissors, it is further stated.
Later during that same day, it is alleged, Links purchased petrol at a nearby service station and transported it home in a container.
He informed witnesses that he intended to “burn out the deceased” and strangle her.
She, however, managed to flee with the baby in her arms, but the accused pursued her and doused her with the petrol while she was holding the toddler, before setting them alight.
She managed to throw the toddler on the ground, who only suffered burns on her arms and feet. She was treated at a nearby clinic.
The victim, however, suffered 81% burn wounds all over her body after bystanders managed to put out the flames on her body.
She was rushed to hospital, where she succumbed 11 days later due to acute kidney injury caused by the burn wounds.