High Court hears from man who dressed up dead ‘wife’

The man who beat his live-in partner to death, and then proceeded to wash and clothe her after realising that she had died, made his first court appearance in the High Court this week.

August van Wyk, aged 50, appeared before High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg on charges of murder, defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) and assault.

Van Wyk hails from Karasburg in southern Namibia.

Judge Liebenberg granted Van Wyk’s wish to appoint a private lawyer to defend him. The judge remanded the case to November 17 to allow the accused to appoint a lawyer and for another pre-trial proceeding. Van Wyk was out on bail of N$1 000 for assaulting the deceased when he allegedly killed her.

It is alleged that sometime during the night of 29 and 30 August in 2014, Van Wyk, beat his partner, Katrina Waterboer, to death and then proceeded to wash the body and dress it in an attempt to conceal the cause of her death.

Van Wyk and Waterboer lived in Westerkim, a location in Karasburg. According to the charge sheet, Waterboer, Van Wyk and the mother of Waterboer, Josephine Fredericks, were at a shebeen in Westerkim. On their way home Fredericks, who is the complainant in the assault charge, invited Van Wyk and Waterboer to overnight at her place.

Van Wyk is alleged to have responded to the invitation by slapping Fredericks in the face, and “expressed his anger with [Fredericks for] making decisions on behalf of the deceased [Waterboer]”.

This was in the late or wee hours of the morning between Friday, August 29 and Saturday, August 30. Van Wyk was enraged with Waterboer, and asked her why she was allowing Fredericks to interfere in their relationship.

It was at this point, according to the charge sheet, that Van Wyk turned onto Waterboer – hitting her with objects and kicking her while dragging her on the ground.

Waterboer later died, as a result of multiple injuries, subdural bleeding and a brain concussion.
After realising that Waterboer has died, Van Wyk is said to have undressed Waterboer and cleaned her body before dressing her in different clothes that were clean and with no bloodstains. He is also said to have hidden his own blood-stained clothes.

Van Wyk’s charges also include one of gender-based violence for allegedly beating the late Waterboer on a prior occasion.

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