Standing impassively and listening intently, a Groot Aub resident accused of murder, Gregory Kangandjera, 37, heard yesterday that he is convicted, as charged, by Judge Nate Ndauendapo in the Windhoek High Court.
Judge Ndauendapo convicted Kangandjera of murder with direct intent for viciously strangling his girlfriend of three months, Loretta Kruger, who was 33 at the time of her demise, at the Groot Aub Village during the period November 13 to 18, 2010.
He was also convicted of assault for slapping Ipuleni Natangwe on November 13, 2010. He was further found guilty of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, as a result of him tying a rope around the neck of Kruger and a tree branch and informing the police and members of the community that she committed suicide.
According to Judge Ndauendapo, the only person who could have strangled the deceased is the accused.
“I say so, because he was the one who was angry with the deceased for dancing with Natangwe at Mafia Bar. He is the one who assaulted Natangwe and after Natangwe ran away, viciously assaulted, tripped the deceased to the ground and kicked the deceased,” stated justice Ndauendapo.
The judge further said the deceased was last seen in the room of the accused, bedridden, her body and face swollen and unable to move.
According to Judge Ndauendapo, several witnesses corroborated each other about the condition of the deceased and given the objective evidence by Dr Salas that detailed the nature of the injuries of the deceased, she would not have been able to move on her own and the scars on her body showed, or looked as if she was dragged. The conclusion is inescapable that somebody must have dragged her to the place her body was found and that somebody is Kangandjera.
The judge said she was strangled with the rope and her body placed under a tree and the only inference to be drawn from the proven facts is that it was the accused that strangled the woman and staged the scene as if she had hanged herself.
He said the evidence of Kangandjera that he never assaulted the deceased, that he did not strangle the deceased, nor dragged her body to where she was found and then staged the scene, is clearly false beyond reasonable doubt and is rejected.
According to the judge, the doctor ascertained that the deceased died as a result of strangulation.
“The rope that was used to strangle her was pulled around her neck with the intention to kill her and, therefore, the intention was dollus directus (direct intent),” Judge Ndauendapo concluded, adding that he is satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that it was indeed Kangandjera who strangled and murdered the deceased.
The autopsy report on Kruger showed that she died as a result of strangulation and had eight broken ribs and blood on the brain and kidneys. Kruger was five months pregnant at the time of her death and she also left behind five other children.
State Advocate Palmer Khumalo appeared on behalf of the State and Joshua Kaumbi on behalf of Kangandjera on the instructions of the Legal Aid Directorate.
The case is set to continue on August 18 for sentencing proceedings to commence.