Murder accused denies charges

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Murder accused denies charges

ONE of the people accused of the murder of Walvis Bay businessman Hans-Jorg Möller yesterday flatly denied that he was in Walvis Bay on the night of the horrific incident.

David Shekundja, who is branded by the prosecution as the mastermind of the robbery which culminated in Möller’s death, told Judge Dinnah Usiku at the Windhoek High Court at the Windhoek Correctional Facility that he was at home with his three children and girlfriend at the time.

When asked during cross-examination by State Advocate Basson Lilungwe why the “girlfriend” is not testifying on his behalf, he said they are no longer together, and he does not know where to find her. 

Shekundja told the court that he did not know any of his co-accused before their arrest and trial. He further said anyone who says otherwise is lying through their teeth. 

Questioned about the testimony of Selma Simeon, who said Shekundja and two of his co-accused were at her house in Walvis Bay on the night in question, he said it must have been a case of mistaken identity. 

His Legal Aid lawyer, Tanya Klazen, also produced a clipping from a New Era report on June 2016, in which the police released photos of two men wanted in connection with the murder. 

One of the men was accused one, Panduleni Gotlieb, and the other was identified as Papa Johan. 

Shekundja claimed he was arrested based on the description of the wife of the deceased, Carol-Anne, that the person who assaulted and robbed her has a round face, a bald head, and broad shoulders. Based on the photo released of Papa Johan, he has the same features, Shekundja claimed in court.

Elly Ndapuka Hinaivali took the stand thereafter, and repeated the claims that he too was never in Walvis Bay on the night in question. He also vehemently denied that he had a car, an Opel Corsa bakkie, which was allegedly used in the commission of the crime. He told the court that he does not have a driver’s licence, or knows how to steer a vehicle. Furthermore, he repeated the claims of his co-accused that they did not know each other, and only came to meet when they were arrested. 

On the other hand, Malakia Shiweda testified that he and Hinaivali were ‘best friends’ who visited each other regularly. According to him, he also knows Gotlieb from seeing him at a bar in Ombili location. He narrated to the court how Hinaivali had asked him to drive him to Walvis Bay in his (Hinaivali) car to collect tools he had left there, and to buy fish. As he also wanted to buy fish, he agreed, Shiweda said.

During the early morning hours of 16 June 2016, Hinaivali called him and told him to come to the B1 road to drive the car, he continued. When he arrived, he saw two other men on the load box of the vehicle, and Hinaivali told him they were his clients. He then drove the car to Walvis Bay and upon arrival there, Hinaivali and the other two men left him at a shop. He bought a box of fish, and waited for Hinaivali and the other two men to arrive. 

They eventually arrived after a while, and they all went to Simeon’s house for something to eat. After they ate, they went, and he was left at a bar called Bafana Bafana, he testified. After another while, Hinaivali returned and handed him the keys to the Corsa, and left with the other two men and another man in a Toyota Corolla. He identified the other man as Gotlieb. Shiweda said later that evening, he received a call from an unknown number, and Hinaivali directed him to drive and pick him and the other men up. As it was foggy, he switched on the hazards for the men to look for him, and when he came near traffic lights close to KFC in Walvis Bay, he saw the men running towards the car and get onto the load box, Shiweda stated. 

He went on to say that he saw Gotlieb with a black bag. They drove back to Windhoek, and he handed the car back to Hinaivali, as he did not know the route they were taking, he said. “Near Karibib, we stopped, and I then drove the car. When we reached R5 Camp outside Okahandja, I was instructed to stop, and Hinaivali and accused 1 got out of the car. When he walked around the front of the car, I saw something fall from his pocket and when he picked it, up I saw it was a black firearm”, he continued. 

Shekundja, Gotlieb, David Tashiya, Hinaivali and Shiweda are being charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit housebreaking with the intent to rob, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

They are also charged with housebreaking with the intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances – and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition for allegedly breaking into the house of Möller during a daring robbery.  The accused allegedly shot him when he came to the defence of his wife and children during the early morning hours of 17 June 2016.

The case was postponed to 4 and 5 April for submissions on the verdict. Mbanga Siyomunji is representing Gotlieb, Tashiya by Kalundu Kamwi, Trevor Brockerhoff represents Hinaivali and Joseph Andreas is on record for Shiweda. 

The accused were remanded in custody at the section for trial-awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.