Defence to challenge 50-year sentence
By Tunomukwathi Asino
WINDHOEK – The defence team plans to approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the 50 years sentence that was imposed on 34-years-old Gabriel Jona Petrus Jnr two weeks ago in the High Court.
Judge Alfred Siboleka jailed Gabriel Jona Petrus Jr, 34 to 50 years in prison in the High Court on June 20 for strangling his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Ekandjo, 22, two years ago in her Khomasdal home with a tie.
Last week New Era contacted Petrus Snr, to ask him questions about his son, who instead referred questions about his son to his lawyer Sisa Namandje. Namandje said that he cannot comment on the matter as it will be sub judice, under judicial contemplation and therefore prohibited from public discussion elsewhere. Gabriel strangled Ekandjo after she ended their relationship. The incident happened on 6 June, 2012 between 02h00 and 04h00 in Khomasdal. The 22-year-old Ekandjo was a fourth-year Information Technology student at the Polytechnic of Namibia and was studying on a bursary from Telecom Namibia.
The Namibian Police said Petrus entered the deceased’s room through a window and threatened her room-mate Erika Embashu, ordering her to hide in a wardrobe before he went on to strangle Ekandjo.
It came to light during the trial that Ekandjo and Petrus had some differences, and Ekandjo had tried to end the relationship.
Petrus, however, did not want to accept that the relationship was over.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of murder two weeks ago.
Judge Siboleka sentenced him to 45 years for murder and five years for kidnapping, ordering the sentences run consecutively, meaning he will serve 50 years in prison.
“It is common cause that every community wants to live in peace in their localities. They look up to this court to help call offenders of heinous crimes to order by punishing them,” Siboleka said before the sentence.
The judge further said in sentencing he had taken the following into account: “The invasion of the deceased’s privacy in her room at 1:00 in the morning, in which the peaceful rest of the two ladies was savagely disrupted.”
As well as “the prevalence of the domestic violence crime where men go around killing their female partners so often simply because they elected to terminate the relationship.”