Tsumeb killer sent to jail for 36 years

Tsumeb killer sent to jail for 36 years

FORMER farmworker Josef Naseb was sentenced to an effective 36 years’ imprisonment yesterday for murdering a Tsumeb doctor and shooting a fellow worker at a farm in the Tsumeb district in early 2005.

Dr Andries van Coller was shot seven times, including in the back and in the head, a doctor who performed a post-mortem examination testified last week. He was shot dead with a firearm that Naseb admitted he stole out of a steel cabinet in a garage on Van Coller’s farm Verweg, some 65 kilometres northwest of Tsumeb, on the day of the incident, February 2 2005.Acting Judge Hosea Angula sentenced Naseb (51) in the High Court in Windhoek to 35 years for the murder of Van Coller.Naseb had pleaded guilty to eight charges.Van Coller’s killing was “a shocking murder of an unarmed, unsuspecting and innocent person”, Acting Judge Angula commented during sentencing.Naseb initially faced another charge of attempted murder for shooting a fellow labourer at the farm, Phillipus Shitelana, in the abdomen in the run-up to Van Coller’s murder.He however pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of negligent discharge of a firearm in connection with that incident, for which Acting Judge Angula sentenced him to a one-year prison term.He ordered that this sentence should be served consecutively with the 35-year term on the murder charge.As the facts unfolded before him after the prosecution accepted Naseb’s plea on the alternative charge, it pointed to more than the negligent discharge of a firearm, Acting Judge Angula told Naseb.”You should have been convicted of attempted murder,” the Acting Judge commented.He made this remark yesterday afternoon, after Naseb had been brought back to the courtroom where he had been sentenced in the morning so that an error that Acting Judge Angula had made with part of the sentence could be corrected.Whereas Naseb had pleaded guilty to the negligent discharge of a firearm, he had been sentenced on a count of attempted murder in the morning.He mistakenly received a sentence of 10 years on that charge, putting him in line – for a few hours at least – for serving an effective prison term of 45 years.As it is, Acting Judge Angula told Naseb that he would be in the twilight of his life when he emerges from prison.He had considered sentencing Naseb to life imprisonment, but decided against this, the Acting Judge said.The effect of the sentence he was imposing instead would in any event not be much different to life imprisonment, he added: “By the time you will be released, you will be an old man.You will have little time left before the sun will set on you.I think that is the only humane way I can treat you compared to what you did.”Acting Judge Angula also remarked that in the absence of testimony from Naseb himself – he had chosen to maintain his silence during the trial – it was very hard to understand the motive for his actions.He however accepted that Naseb had somehow felt insulted or had been sworn at by Van Coller in the few days that Naseb had been employed at Verweg.According to Naseb’s defence lawyer, Unanisa Hengari, Naseb had worked for Van Coller for only three days when the break-ins and shootings brought his time at the farm to a quick and deadly end.Being insulted or sworn at was no justification for killing someone, Acting Judge Angula told Naseb, adding that his reaction to the verbal abuse he claimed to have suffered had been disproportionate.After Naseb had shot Shitelana, he returned to the main farmhouse at Verweg, where he lay in wait for Van Coller to return home.The unarmed Van Coller was then shot from the back at close range, Acting Judge Angula recounted.Van Coller was shot in a way that “speaks of a brutal and merciless execution style”, he stated.He added: “After you shot the deceased, you stole his wallet, containing N$400 – no respect for life; no respect for the dead.It is despicable.”Hengari last week told the court that Naseb was asking the court to extend mercy and leniency to him.Acting Judge Angula commented yesterday: “I observed you carefully during the proceedings.I must confess that I could not discern any sign of remorse on your face, or posture, or attitude.You struck me as cold and unperturbed, almost oblivious of what was going on around you.Your plea for mercy and leniency echoes hollow.”Except for the sentences on the murder and negligent discharge of a firearm charges, Naseb was further sentenced to prison terms totalling 19 years on an additional two housebreaking and four theft charges that he admitted.Those sentences were ordered to run concurrently with the effective term of 36 years.Deputy Prosecutor General Heidi Jacobs appeared for the State.He was shot dead with a firearm that Naseb admitted he stole out of a steel cabinet in a garage on Van Coller’s farm Verweg, some 65 kilometres northwest of Tsumeb, on the day of the incident, February 2 2005.Acting Judge Hosea Angula sentenced Naseb (51) in the High Court in Windhoek to 35 years for the murder of Van Coller.Naseb had pleaded guilty to eight charges.Van Coller’s killing was “a shocking murder of an unarmed, unsuspecting and innocent person”, Acting Judge Angula commented during sentencing.Naseb initially faced another charge of attempted murder for shooting a fellow labourer at the farm, Phillipus Shitelana, in the abdomen in the run-up to Van Coller’s murder.He however pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of negligent discharge of a firearm in connection with that incident, for which Acting Judge Angula sentenced him to a one-year prison term. He ordered that this sentence should be served consecutively with the 35-year term on the murder charge.As the facts unfolded before him after the prosecution accepted Naseb’s plea on the alternative charge, it pointed to more than the negligent discharge of a firearm, Acting Judge Angula told Naseb.”You should have been convicted of attempted murder,” the Acting Judge commented.He made this remark yesterday afternoon, after Naseb had been brought back to the courtroom where he had been sentenced in the morning so that an error that Acting Judge Angula had made with part of the sentence could be corrected.Whereas Naseb had pleaded guilty to the negligent discharge of a firearm, he had been sentenced on a count of attempted murder in the morning.He mistakenly received a sentence of 10 years on that charge, putting him in line – for a few hours at least – for serving an effective prison term of 45 years.As it is, Acting Judge Angula told Naseb that he would be in the twilight of his life when he emerges from prison.He had considered sentencing Naseb to life imprisonment, but decided against this, the Acting Judge said.The effect of the sentence he was imposing instead would in any event not be much different to life imprisonment, he added: “By the time you will be released, you will be an old man.You will have little time left before the sun will set on you.I think that is the only humane way I can treat you compared to what you did.”Acting Judge Angula also remarked that in the absence of testimony from Naseb himself – he had chosen to maintain his silence during the trial – it was very hard to understand the motive for his actions.He however accepted that Naseb had somehow felt insulted or had been sworn at by Van Coller in the few days that Naseb had been employed at Verweg.According to Naseb’s defence lawyer, Unanisa Hengari, Naseb had worked for Van Coller for only three days when the break-ins and shootings brought his time at the farm to a quick and deadly end.Being insulted or sworn at was no justification for killing someone, Acting Judge Angula told Naseb, adding that his reaction to the verbal abuse he claimed to have suffered had been disproportionate.After Naseb had shot Shitelana, he returned to the main farmhouse at Verweg, where he lay in wait for Van Coller to return home.The unarmed Van Coller was then shot from the back at close range, Acting Judge Angula recounted.Van Coller was shot in a way that “speaks of a brutal and merciless execution style”, he stated.He added: “After you shot the deceased, you stole his wallet, containing N$400 – no respect for life; no respect for the dead.It is despicable.”Hengari last week told the court that Naseb was asking the court to extend mercy and leniency to him.Acting Judge Angula commented yesterday: “I observed you carefully during the proceedings.I must confess that I could not discern any sign of remorse on your face, or posture, or attitude.You struck me as cold and unperturbed, almost oblivious of what was going on around you.Your plea for mercy and leniency echoes hollow.”Except for the sentences on the murder and negligent discharge of a firearm charges, Naseb was further sentenced to prison terms totalling 19 years on an additional two housebreaking and four theft charges that he admitted.Those sentences were ordered to run concurrently with the effective term of 36 years.Deputy Prosecutor General Heidi Jacobs appeared for the State.

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