Kauejao’s judge recusal bid dismissed

Home National Kauejao’s judge recusal bid dismissed
Kauejao’s judge recusal bid dismissed

Windhoek High Court acting Judge Alfred Siboleka on Friday dismissed an application by two men on trial for the murder of renowned stock theft investigator Wilfred ‘Major’ Kazeurua in Gobabis during 2012, which sought them to appeal his refusal to step down from their case in the Supreme Court.

Stockley Kauejao and Muvare Kaporo were seeking leave from the High Court so they may approach the Supreme Court to appeal Siboleka’s decision not to recuse himself from the trial.

“There is no basis in this application, and no prospects of success,” Siboleka said when he dismissed the application.

 According to him, he did not misdirect himself in any manner – and in his view, no other court faced with the same facts will come to a different conclusion. 

In the same vein, he dismissed an application to reinstate Kauejao’s bail. 

In October 2021, Siboleka revoked Kauejao’s bail, as he believed he was the reason for various delays the trial has suffered since its start in 2015. 

The trial had to be put on hold due to several applications and the hiring and firing of lawyers.

At the time, Siboleka said he has had it with postponements, and that the State already closed its case in 2018 – and the continued delays in the trial could only be laid at the door of Kauejao.

On Friday, the judge said he agrees with the State that Kauejao – if he wants to be released on bail – must lodge a fresh bail application outlining his reasons for deserving bail.

His lawyer Salomon Kanyemba indicated he will petition the Chief Justice to hear the recusal application in due course.

Kauejao and Kaporo believe the Supreme Court, once presented with the same facts on why Siboleka should recuse himself, will give a different ruling than that of the High Court.

The duo, through their lawyers, said Siboleka is partial, as he has already approached the matter with a guilty mind towards them.

Kauejao and Kaporo alongside Mathew Kakururume are on trial on charges of murder, stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice – charges they have all denied.

The fourth accused, Afas Kamutjemo, is charged only with counts of stock theft and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

The State is alleging the accused conspired to kill Kazeurua to prevent him from tracing cattle they had stolen. 

The group had allegedly stolen 15 head of cattle from a farm in the Gobabis area earlier in December 2012.

Kaporo and Kakururume allegedly ambushed him and killed him by strangling him and throwing sand in his mouth to prevent him from breathing. 

This allegedly happened on 28 December 2012. 

Kazeurua’s vehicle was set on fire after he had been killed, and his body was burnt and buried.

The partly burned body of Kazeurua was found in an aardvark burrow on 7 January 2013 after he had been reported missing days earlier.

The accused have all denied guilt. – rrouth@nepc.com.na