More hiccups in Kazeurua murder trial

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More hiccups in Kazeurua murder trial

The long-running murder and stock theft trial of four men, accused of murdering renowned stock theft investigator Hiambepo ‘Major’ Kazeurua, has faced obstacles yet again.

This time, it is an application by Stockley Kauejao (45), the main accused in the murder trial, to give his testimony in chief afresh. 

His lawyer, Salomon Kanyemba, made the application on Tuesday when the trial was to resume, with Kauejao set to face cross-examination from State advocate Esekiel Ipinge. 

Kanyemba based his application on the fact that Kauejao was unrepresented when he presented his oral evidence. 

Windhoek High Court acting judge Alfred Siboleka, however, dismissed the application after objections from Jan Wessels, Afas Kamutjemo’s (45) lawyer, who is facing a charge of stock theft alone. 

When the trial was set to continue yesterday, Wessels was not available, as he was unwell, and the matter was again postponed to today. 

The matter, which was supposed to start in 2014, was plagued by postponements because of recusal applications, the withdrawal of lawyers and bail applications. 

The judge previously cancelled Kauejao’s bail by using the powers vested in him, according to section 68(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 as amended, and refused to entertain another bail application. 

Similarly, he refused to grant bail to Muvare Kaporo and Mathew Kakurume, who recently applied for bail after languishing in custody since their arrest in 2012. 

The only one who is currently on bail is Kamutjemo.

Kauejao, Kakururume and Kaporo pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice at the start of their trial. 

They put the onus of proof on the state for every allegation against them.

Kamutjemo pleaded not guilty to a charge of stock theft. It is alleged the stolen cattle was mixed with his cattle on his grandfather’s farm.

According to the indictment, the accused conspired to kill Kazeurua to prevent him from tracing cattle they had stolen, and Kaporo and Kakururume ambushed and killed him by strangling him and throwing sand in his mouth to prevent him from breathing. 

This allegedly happened on 28 December 2012. 

The partly burned body of Kazeurua was found in an Aardvark burrow on 7 January 2013 after being reported missing days earlier. 

Kaporo and Kakurume are represented by Mbanga Siyomunji.

 The accused remain in custody at the section for trial awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility. 

The judge ordered that Kauejao should be kept separate from his co-accused.