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Unapologetic murderer faces 20 years to life imprisonment

By: Kelvin Chiringa

August van Wyk who murdered his lover, Katrina Waterboer, at Karasburg during the night of 29 to 30 August 2014 while out on bail, has refused to apologise for his crimes.

During his trial this week, the court revealed that he now faces either 20 years in jail or a life time.

The elderly man stuck to his guns as his lawyer submitted that apologising would likely kill his chance of appealing to the Supreme Court as he firmly believes that he was found guilty on a crime he did not commit.

He had come from a beerhall with his lover before he attacked and killed her.

This was despite that he was still on bail in a separate case in which he was facing a charge of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

What is aggravating is the fact that van Wyk has two previous convictions, which has informed the state prosecutor’s submission that only a life time in jail would hinder him from doing something worse.

Yet van Wyk’s state sponsored lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht wants him to be slapped with a 30-year jail time in which case he will only have to save just 20.

He also said his client was an elderly man and any lengthier jail term than that only meant that he would come out well advanced in age, above 70 years.

The prosecutor, Cliff Lutibezi stamped that the convict had shown no desire to express remorse even for charges which he has pleaded guilty to,  like assault.

A warrant of arrest was also at one time issued against him during the course of his trial.

“He is a regular customer of the criminal justice system. If the convict is capable of murder, then he does not deserve a partially suspended sentence because he has no respect for the law. He got bail and he committed an offense during that process,” he submitted.

Lutibezi put it to the judge that the fact that the convict was well advanced in age should not deter him from being sentenced to life.

“Suppose a 102-year old man rapes a three-month-old baby, and the judge gives him 6 years, then he comes out and rapes again, should the court not sentence him to life because he is 102 years old?” explained the prosecutor.

According to him, the fact that the crime was committed in a domestic setting was aggravating, as domestic violence was on the high and society expects courts to punish perpetrators.

Van Wyk’s lawyer submitted that since he paid a N$400 admission of guilt fee, that should be taken into consideration upon sentencing.

He also said that although the court will have to weigh the interest of society on the matter and the personal circumstances of the convict but “Society expects our courts not to destroy convicts”.

Engelbrecht also cautioned the court to consider that the object used to commit the murder was still unknown as it “could have been a shoe or a stone”.

Meanwhile, Van Wyk will be sentenced in the Windhoek High Court on the 5th of April at 09h00.

Kelvin Chiringa

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