City Centre shooting, killing case sees another delay

08 October 2020 | Justice

NAMPA

WINDHOEK



The case of a former Global Fund employee, who allegedly shot dead a former colleague and wounded another in 2019, was yesterday postponed to 26 October as per a decision taken in the High Court.

Simataa Simasiku made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg when he was informed that his case was to be postponed to allow enough time to both deputy prosecutor-general Antonia Verhoef and Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Vernon Lutibezi to go through the findings of the accused's second psychiatric observation report, and to decide how to proceed with the case.

The findings of the second report, compiled by a local psychiatrist employed by the State, was availed to Judge Liebenberg, Verhoef and Lutibezi on 1 October. However, Lutibezi yesterday informed the court that he still had not received the report, and this forced the postponement of the matter.

The findings of this report will only be released to the general public when Simasiku makes his next court appearance.



Fit to stand trial

Meanwhile, according to the first psychiatric report, compiled by a private sector psychiatrist, Simasiku is fit to stand trial and understand the proceedings.

On 28 January 2019, the accused allegedly walked into the City Centre office building and shot two victims employed by the Global Fund management unit within the ministry of health and social services.

Sarah Mwilima, the director of the unit, died on the scene, while the other victim, Ester Nepolo, was wounded.

Simasiku was observed by the two psychiatrists to determine the state of his mental health prior to, during and after the shooting.



Mental observation

This after lawyer Lutibezi brought an urgent application before the court on 18 June, requesting Judge Liebenberg to refer his client for mental observation following a number of consultations between the two.

In the application, Lutibezi said his client needs to undergo mental observation because he allegedly appeared to be disoriented and “out of touch” shortly after the alleged shooting incident. The 34-year-old Simasiku was yesterday again remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, with no option to post bail.

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