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City murder trial ends in acquittal

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A Windhoek resident who was prosecuted on a murder charge over the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend three years ago has been found not guilty at the end of his trial in the High Court.

Gustav Pienaar (40) at first embraced the court interpreter next to him in the dock and then fell to the floor after hearing judge Christie Liebenberg announcing to him on Friday that he was acquitted on charges of murder, defeating or obstructing the course of justice and assault by threat.

Liebenberg concluded that the state did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Pienaar was guilty of the offences of which he was accused.

The judge came to that conclusion after finding that the prosecution’s case against Pienaar on each of the charges was based on the evidence of a single witness, whose testimony Liebenberg found to have been unreliable.

Pienaar was charged with murdering his girlfriend, Christina Cloete (33), in Windhoek by stabbing her in the neck with a knife on 8 May 2018.

He denied guilt on the charges, and claimed Cloete was stabbed when one of her friends, with whom she had spent the day drinking at a bar, tried to stab him after he had fetched Cloete from the drinking place.

* Read more in the next edition of The Namibian.

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