WINDHOEK - A Gobabis resident who was convicted on two counts of murder was sentenced to a total of 60 years in prison by Judge Maphios Cheda on Monday.
Judge Cheda convicted Aloyis Ditshabue, 43, of the murders of his 10-week pregnant wife Marcella and his live-in girlfriend, Alida Kambende, with whom he shacked up after killing his wife.
In the judgment delivered last week Thursday Judge Cheda said that Ditshabue’s failure to testify was a fatal flaw in his defence as it left the judge no other choice but to accept the prosecution’s evidence. Ditshabue pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife, but to the end maintained he did not kill Kambende.
During sentencing the judge called Ditshabue “the sort of person society can ill afford to have in its midst.” He said the matter arose against the backdrop of a national outcry for stiffer penalties for those convicted of violence.
Ditshabue strangled his wife with his bare hands and stabbed Kambende several times with a knife.
According to Judge Cheda, the punishment the court should impose on Ditshabue should aim to deter not only him but those with like minds from committing such heinous crimes and at the same time ensuring he squares his debt with society.
“After all we are all responsible for our actions and you are, therefore, required to carry the yoke of your misdeeds,” the judge said.
He said the sanctity of life is hallowed by the courts and one cannot end the life of another person “willy-nilly”, irrespective of one’s justification either real or imagined.
On the killing of his wife the judge said Ditshabue killed her by strangulation.
“The deceased was pregnant and despite your knowledge of her medical condition you held her neck and exerted immense pressure on her throat until she died. You were obviously not deterred by her pleas for mercy due to the pain and imminent death she faced. You killed her in such a cowardly and cruel manner.”
On the killing of Kambende the judge said there was no provocation and therefore the motive remained unknown to the court.
He said the evidence shows Ditshabue went over to the shack where the deceased was sleeping and stabbed her several times.
He said that the second murder was carried out in a most brutal manner while Ditshabue was out on bail for the first murder.
“What is overly disturbing is that the victims were defenceless women who you were in love with,” the judge emphasised. He said that causing one human being’s death was scary enough and would normally haunt one’s conscience, but to proceed to again engage in another murder was mind-boggling.
“However in you one finds that you pursued these women like a tin can attached to a car bumper which rattles on until it hits a kerb,” the judge said, adding: “This type of conduct cannot be tolerated by any civilised society.”
The judge said clarion calls are being made from all concerned to effectively deal with the scourge of violence in our society.
“The calls are heard from far afield and in some quarters divine intervention has been called for. Such is the desperate situation the country finds itself in,” said Judge Cheda.
He said that cold-bloodedness of passion and gender violence is nothing but barbaric and beastly murder, adding that of late it appeared there were some members of society who thought that it fashionable to kill women and children.
He said Ditshabue was not fit to be taken in by any woman as either a husband or boyfriend as his actions had taken away the “smallest drop of human presence” inside his entire body.
Ditshabue was sentenced to 30 years for each murder and the sentences will run consecutively.
Ditshabue was represented by Willem Visser on instructions of the Legal Aid Department, while State Advocate Jack Eixab prosecuted.
By Roland Routh