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.


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.


Similar News


Ten years for deadly assault on girlfriend

1 day - 25 June 2019 | Justice

Almost five years after a 17-year-old pregnant teenager died as a result of a violent and drunken assault at the hands of her boyfriend on...

Cops charged with negligence in NDF soldier's case

2 days ago - 24 June 2019 | Justice

Four police officers have been charged with negligence on duty for allowing the public and media to come in close contact with a Namibian Defence...

Court dismisses Mukwiilongo matter

5 days ago - 21 June 2019 | Justice

The Oshakati Magistrate's Court has set aside a protection order issued against the late Omusati governor Leonard Nangolo Mukwiilongo's lastborn, Shatipamba, who was dragged to...

Oncologist tusk case postponed

6 days ago - 20 June 2019 | Justice

The matter involving renowned Windhoek oncologist Dr Thomas John Brown van Wyk, who was arrested for the alleged illegal possession of three elephant tusks, has...

Congo general awarded N$12m settlement

6 days ago - 20 June 2019 | Justice

Congolese general Francois Olenga was awarded a settlement of US$850 000 (N$12 350 500 at yesterday's exchange rate) by the High Court of Namibia on...

DBN claims N$3m from medical bigwigs

6 days ago - 20 June 2019 | Justice

A status hearing was held yesterday before High Court Judge Marlene Tommasi in a matter in which the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is suing...

Bid to evict land-grabbers fails

1 week ago - 18 June 2019 | Justice

On Sunday, High Court Judge Marlene Tommasi struck an urgent application by the Gobabis municipality to interdict a group of land-grabbers from the roll due...

Pastor accused of raping daughter for 13 years

1 week ago - 17 June 2019 | Justice

Following a marathon court session, a 55-year-old Okahandja pastor who is accused of raping his own daughter over a period of 13 years, has been...

'I was a Swapo informant'

1 week ago - 17 June 2019 | Justice

Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) double murder suspect Ernst Joseph Lichtenstrasser, who claims he gathered information for Swapo during the liberation struggle, has...

Double murder accused maintains his innocence

1 week ago - 13 June 2019 | Justice

Ernst Joseph Lichtenstrasser, accused of murdering NIMT CEO Eckhart Mueller and his deputy Heimo Hellwig in April, today maintained his innocence during his bail application...

Latest News

Job prospects bleak

14 hours ago | Columns

There is not an iota of doubt that young Namibians have been the most conspicuous victims of the skyrocketing unemployment rate that has befallen us....

Meatco aims for profitability by...

14 hours ago | Agriculture

Meatco managed to reduce its overall losses by N$33 million during the previous financial year and plans to break even in 2019/20, before returning to...

Meatco Foundation inspects projects

14 hours ago | Agriculture

The Meatco Foundation, Meatco's corporate social investment wing, has been supporting individuals and farmers' organisations to improve farming practices, especially in communal areas, focusing on...

Ombaye Fishing boosts Dare to...

14 hours ago | Agriculture

The Dare to Care drought fund for fodder subsidies has been given a N$100 000 boost thanks to a fishing company with an open heart.Dr...

Agriculture in dire need of...

14 hours ago | Agriculture

Worth N$7.5 billion in 2017, Namibia's agriculture sector is in dire need of growth.This is according to Meatco's 2018/19 annual report, which highlighted that during...

WAD excels in community training

14 hours ago | Youth

Over 150 unemployed and police officers in Kavango West Region this month graduated from a free three-month skills training programme.The training was offered by the...

Amalwa a ninguluka

14 hours ago | Cultural

Amalwa ngashiingeyi ota hwahwameke aantu yomoshikandjo she opo ya yambidhidhe Nangolo onga omukwaniilwa gwawo omupe nonando okuli a tulwa momusholondndo gwaantu ya hetatu mboka ya...

Off to Cairo

14 hours ago | Sports

The MTC Africa Cup of Nations SMS competition produced two winners who were announced yesterday by MTC's Tim Ekandjo.Uti Tjiriange and Paulus Petaya each received...

Superstar Salah seeks first goal

14 hours ago | Sports

Superstar Mohamed Salah gets a second chance to score his first goal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) when hosts Egypt face the...

Load More