Rundu massacre case postponed yet again

30 July 2019 | Justice

The case of a man accused of killing five members of his family at Rundu's Ndama location last year has once again been postponed because of an outstanding psychiatric report.

The psychiatric evaluation of Rundu massacre suspect Jesaya Gabriel Chuhunda is yet to be completed, nearly 12 months after the magistrate ordered that a report be finalised and presented to the court.

Chuhunda, who was 20 at the time of the incident, is accused of killing five members of his family.

Chuhunda is charged with five counts of murder for allegedly killing his grandmother, Ndongo Ntumba (77); his mother, Ndara Elizabeth Mpande (46); and his three nephews, Musenge Elias Tjingelesu (3), Hausiku Daniel Kapumburu (4) and Musenge Petrus Muruti (6).

Preliminary reports indicated that he carried out the gruesome murders when his sister refused to give him money. It was also alleged at the time of the murders that he was a drug user. Since his second court appearance on 20 August 2018, Chuhunda has not set foot in the Rundu Magistrate's Court.

This was after Magistrate Sonia Samupofu ordered that he undergo psychiatric evaluation. Chuhunda was also told to apply for legal aid.

Since then the case has been postponed on several occasions, pending the finalisation of the psychiatric evaluation.

Last month Namibian Sun reported that Magistrate Hellen Olaiya postponed the matter until 26 July, as the court was still waiting for the report.

Last Friday, Magistrate Barry Mufana postponed the matter to 27 August.

There was no indication when the report will be available or whether a spot had been secured for the suspect to undergo evaluation at the Windhoek Central Hospital's psychiatric centre.

The centre is the only state-owned facility in the country that provides forensic psychiatry. It has a bed capacity of 80, but only 16 of these are allocated for forensic psychiatry.

Last month Namibian Sun also reported on an interview with the head of the psychiatric centre, Hileni Ndjaba, who explained the procedure when it comes to evaluating patients referred by the courts.

Ndjaba said they normally receive a court order to observe a patient for 30 days, but it can take months or even years for a patient to be seen, as they have a limited number of beds and there is a waiting list.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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