Murder accused fights for bail

07 June 2019 | Justice

A Namibian soldier accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend has appealed to the High Court against a magistrate's decision to deny him bail last year.

Johannes Neuaka (40) allegedly shot Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann (25) in Damara location, Katutura, on 21 January 2018. Rittmann was hit in the head and died instantly.

After handing himself over to the police, Neuka was charged with murder, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and negligent discharge of a firearm.

Relatives told the police that Rittmann and Neuaka's five-year relationship had ended shortly before the murder.

During the bail hearing in the Katutura Magistrate's Court last year, Rittmann's mother testified that the relationship had been abusive.

She testified that her daughter had come home “countless times” with a bruised and swollen face. The mother also testified that Neuaka had once attacked Rittmann with a pair of scissors.



Appeal grounds

In papers filed with the Windhoek High Court this week, Neuaka's legal team presented 11 grounds of appeal, claiming that Magistrate Agatha Brigitte Okamaru had erred when she denied him bail.

One of these grounds is that she failed to take into account that although Neuaka was no longer being paid, we was never fired by the Namibian Defence Force and that he had to provide for his 11 children.

The magistrate found that Neuaka had exaggerated when he claimed to be supporting 11 children.

Neuaka's lawyer argues that the number of children was never challenged in court by the State prosecutor.

In its responding heads of argument, the State pointed out that Neuaka was able to produce only eight birth certificates of children he claimed were his.

The State further argued that the issue of his children was not the sole grounds for bail being denied.



Errors

Magistrate Okamaru denied Neuaka's bail application in October last year, saying it would not be in the interest of the public or the administration of justice to release him pending his trial. She further emphasised that Neuaka's version of events had been contradictory and not believable.

Another ground for Neuaka's appeal is that the magistrate did not consider that his version of events, that the shooting was accidental, had not been challenged.

The State countered that a witness had testified that Neuaka had pointed a firearm at the deceased and shot her.

Neuaka's lawyers argue that the magistrate erred when she believed the testimony of the investigating officer.

According to Neuaka's court papers, the investigating officer testified that Neuaka had arrived at Rittmann's house in a black Audi. He got out of the car, “carrying his child and a bag, put the child down and asked him to go call his mother, saying daddy is calling you and that the deceased went to talk to [Neuaka].”

This version was never put to Neuaka, the lawyers argue, and thus constituted hearsay.

The legal team also argues that the magistrate's decision that Neuaka did not qualify as a “good candidate for bail” was not supported by sufficient evidence.

The State argues that the magistrate cannot be faulted for her conclusions and that the appeal does not contain sufficient evidence to warrant an overturning of her decision.

Neuaka is represented by lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji, while state advocate Erick Moyo is appearing on behalf of the State. High Court Judge Petrus Unengu postponed the appeal hearing to 10 July.

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Chinese shooters claim self-defence

4 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Justice

Two Chinese nationals accused of killing 32-year-old Haushiku Muyevu at Andara village in Kavango East in April, are claiming they acted in self-defence after being...

Agribank guns for its former CEO

4 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Justice

Agribank is suing its former CEO, Leonard Iipumbu, for four loans on which he defaulted, one of which was for a Porsche Cayenne SUV. Iipumbu...

Courts come to anti-poaching party

4 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Justice

The police have hailed the fact that the country's courts are taking a stronger stance against those involved in poaching activities, by refusing bail. ...

Omukwiita ta gamena

5 days ago - 11 September 2019 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT Iikundaneki oya indikwa okutoola oonkundana mompangu mOndaaha, pethimbo oshilyo shEtanga lyEgameno lyaNamibia shoka sha yaha nokudhipaga omukwashigwana moKatutura oshiwike sha piti, sha holoka...

Chicken import war

6 days ago - 10 September 2019 | Justice

A South African citizen, and owner of African Meals Catering at Otjiwarongo, is suing the Meat Board and the ministers of industrialisation and agriculture in...

NDF soldier 'protected'

6 days ago - 10 September 2019 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT The media were prevented from covering yesterday’s court appearance of a Namibian Defence Force (NDF)...

Same-sex couples join forces

1 week ago - 05 September 2019 | Justice

The stage is set for a landmark constitutional challenge following a decision by two married couples to join legal forces in a bid to have...

No bail in domestic murder case

1 week ago - 05 September 2019 | Justice

Murder accused Phillipus Hafeni Haihambo (54) was remanded in custody when he made his first appearance before the Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court. He was charged...

Not fit to stand trial

1 week ago - 04 September 2019 | Justice

Jesaya Gabriel Chuhunda (21), who was accused of killing five members of his family at Rundu last year, has been declared mentally ill and will...

Suspected ivory dealers denied bail

1 week ago - 04 September 2019 | Justice

Two men who allegedly tried to sell two elephant tusks to undercover policemen were denied bail by the Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court on Monday. Dirk...

Latest News

Great risk, great reward

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk In only three years, Braam Vermeulen and his two other founding partners...

Once bitten, twice shy

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Economics

The Government Institutions Pension Fund says it cannot guarantee the success of its unlisted investment scheme but has taken precautions to ensure that it does...

Rape: No means no

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Crime

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga yesterday underlined a woman's right to say no and urged Namibians to band together to end the epidemic of violence by...

Perseverance and a good attitude...

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk Growing up in the small town of Rehoboth, Chantell Engelbrecht longs for the times she used to play street soccer with her...

Fear is not a factor

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Michelline Nawatises Primus Shaapopi was born at Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region. For 17 years, he was raised as a Catholic by his grandmother at...

Self-motivation and teamwork

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Mariselle StofbergEvery new challenge can translate into a learning experience, which helps Natalia Simon gain deeper knowledge of my profession.Simon has never allowed the challenges...

Adding value to the equation

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Business

Evany van Wyk Born and raised in Oranjemund in the //Karas Region, Marisol Basson attended high school in South Africa. She decided to study marketing...

SOEs a burden - Jooste

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says state-owned enterprises in Namibia, with the exception of a few, have failed to optimally deliver on their mandates.“In some...

Let's talk about sex

3 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Opinion

Teen pregnancy in Namibia remains a rising concern. The high teen pregnancy rate has also resulted in many girls dropping out of school to stay...

Load More