WINDHOEK, 17 MAR – A young farmworker found guilty of strangling his girlfriend to death at a farm in the Aroab area in the //Kharas Region in September 2014, will be sentenced by the High Court here early next month.
High Court Judge Dinah Usiku, who presided over the trial, said on Friday she will deliver the sentence in the matter on 09 April.
Willem Freddy Eksteen, 22, was on 28 February 2018 found guilty of strangling his 19-year-old girlfriend, Janetta Babiep, to death at Farm Warmfontein on 21 September 2014.
He was found guilty on a charge of murder with direct intention to kill and his case is being dealt with by the court in terms of the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act of 2003 which calls for a long custodial sentence upon conviction.
In her pre-sentencing evidence on Friday, State Advocate Felistas Shikerete-Vendura asked the court to impose a life sentence or 30 years imprisonment.
On his part, Eksteen’s State-funded defence lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht, asked the court for a sentence of less than 20 years imprisonment of which part of the punishment should be suspended because of the youthfulness of his client.
In his evidence-in-chief during trial, Eksteen vehemently denied killing Babiep, claiming that the deceased took her own life by hanging herself with a rope in the room.
However, Eksteen’s claims of suicide were rejected by the court as false and mere afterthoughts in order for him to evade prosecution.
“You cut the life of an innocent young lady short when you killed her for reasons only known to yourself. You were alone with the deceased in the room at the time of her death. This was a brutal offence against a defenseless young woman,” said the judge.
Eksteen and the deceased were involved in a romantic relationship at the time of her death and the two had a minor child together.
Eksteen remains in police custody at the Windhoek High Court with no option to post bail, pending sentencing.