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IN COURT: Thindimba and his lawyer

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Farm worker convicted of German couple’s grisly murder

Although he insists he was drunk and did not intend to do it, a Maun man has been convicted of the brutal murder of his former employers in a late night burglary that went horribly wrong.

In a case that dates back to 11 December 2016, Sam Thindimba, who was 26 at the time, broke into the home where he used to work, at Dambo Farm in Makalamabedi along the Francistown- Maun road.

Thindimba maintains he was owed money by his ex bosses – a German married couple, Ulrich Oehl and Gisela Haike Oehl, both 52 – and planned to rob them in the night.

However, the convicted killer claims he got drunk while inside the house and stumbled into the couple’s bedroom instead of their office as he originally planned.

Thindimina says he panicked when they woke up, and, fearing Ulrich would shoot him for trespassing, crushed his skull with a pick axe he found in the store-room before slitting Gisele’s throat with a knife he picked up from the kitchen.

Dismissing the suspect’s account as an afterthought, handing down his ruling on Wednesday, Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa said, “The Investigating Officer was never told that the deceased owed him, no other witnesses corroborated his allegation. This could have been an after thought to reduce the gravity of the offence.”

Nthomiwa further disputed Thindimba’s allegation that the ‘modern alcohol beverages’ he consumed in the deceased’s kitchen impaired his thinking.

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“The accused admitted all the essential elements: he knew the geography of the farm, he knew where to find everything. In his drunken state as he alleged he managed to search the house and took the deceased car and drove it to the main road,” continued the Judge.

“You obviously knew that they were sleeping in their house and could wake up at the slight sound but you still broke in,” noted Nthomiwa.

The following morning, long after Thindimba had fled the scene, the Oehls’ bodies were discovered by two of their employees, who became concerned when the couple, who were notorious early birds, had not gotten up that day.

To the workers’ dismay, their worst fears were confirmed, finding the Oehls’ bloodied corpses lying near the bathroom floor, covered in pillows and duvets.

Meanwhile, Thindimba, who is now 32, returns to court on 16 June for mitigation and sentencing.

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