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Thirty-five years for rape and murder

2023-05-23  Roland Routh

Thirty-five years for rape and murder

Self-confessed rapist and murderer Thomas Feni Omulunga Eradius was yesterday sentenced to an effective 35 years in jail for the brutal rape and murder of a 49-year-old woman at the Emanya village in Oshakati in January 2019.

Eradius admitted in the Oshakati High Court that he first raped and then viciously chopped to death – nearly decapitating – Laina Naimbundu with a panga.

Oshakati High Court Judge Eduard Kesslau sentenced him to 10 years on the rape count and 25 years on the murder count to run concurrently. 

The judge said the victim was a defenceless woman who was first raped and then killed with a panga to prevent her from reporting the first crime. 

“Medical evidence indicated the victim was defending herself and that the accused almost decapitated her during the attack,” the judge remarked.

He continued: “The offences that the accused is convicted on are not only very serious in nature but also alarmingly prevalent throughout the country”.

Kesslau further said the accused found the victim sitting next to her room – and after he raped her and, when she said she would report him, he used an extremely dangerous weapon in the form of a panga to attack and kill her. 

“It is clear from the injuries on her hands and forearms that she tried to defend herself,” he noted. 

The judge stated that society in general expects that crimes should be punished and deserves the court’s full protection. 

According to Kesslau, although the accused expressed his remorse and asked for forgiveness from the family of the victim, his own family and society in general, he left six children who were dependent on the victim for their survival orphaned. 

However, the accused admitted his guilt from the outset – and without diminishing the cruelty of his actions, it cannot be ignored that he started on the road to contrition by accepting his guilt. 

The judge noted that remorse is a critical and weighty consideration in the mitigation of sentence, as it demonstrates that the accused will not recommit similar offences. 

“The fact that offences of rape and murder are extremely prevalent in this region and sadly throughout the country necessitates the aims of deterrence and prevention to carry more weight when considering sentence,” the judge said.

“The accused should, however, not be sacrificed on the altar of deterrence.”


2023-05-23  Roland Routh

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