Chief Inspector Felix Ndikoma on Monday dropped a bombshell during the murder trial of two Americans when he revealed that the deceased in the matter owed one of the accused millions of dollars.
During his testimony in the trial of Marcus Thomas and Kevan Townsend accused of the assassin-like murder of Andre Heckmair in Windhoek in January 2011, he revealed the explosive information. According to Ndikoma, he received this information during a meeting with Townsend on 14 September 2011.
He told Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg that Townsend summoned him to the Windhoek Correctional Facility on that day. He went there with three colleagues and Townsend told him that he wants to give him information about the matter at hand. According to Ndikoma, he immediately told Townsend that he is not obliged to divulge anything, but Townsend continued to spill the beans.
First off, he said, Townsend told him about a plan by Thomas to escape from the facility with the help of a correctional officer. He further said that Thomas informed him that he ordered a chemical that will break down the iron bars within six to eight minutes, Furthermore, he said, Townsend told him that he is also working with another inmate only identified as “Roger” and that N$30 000 will be paid to the correctional officer who is going to assist them. In addition, Ndikoma said, Townsend informed him he was not at the scene of the murder, but that he was at the guesthouse they were staying in and that one of the cleaners could confirm that. However, Ndikoma stated, the cleaner could not confirm Townsend’s claim.
Ndikoma further claimed Townsend told him Thomas was using a false name and age. Also, he said, Townsend told him Thomas said he got rid of the firearm in a riverbed they once used as a toilet and that he would take the police there in consideration for bail. Furthermore, Townsend wanted to know who the prosecutor was so he can assist further, the officer stated.
According to Ndikoma, he was also informed by Townsend that Thomas informed him he already broke into the residence of Heckmair during 2010 with poison, but that Heckmair got spooked and did not enter his residence. However, Ndikoma stated, during a follow-up interview to record the admissions, Townsend refused to cooperate.
The State is alleging that Thomas and Townsend travelled to Namibia with the express purpose of killing Heckmair because he was involved in a relationship with an ex-girlfriend of Thomas. It is also alleged that Thomas paid US$10 000 for bail in respect of Townsend who was in custody on gun charges in New York to travel with him for that purpose and that they imported two gun barrels and a silencer from Finland.
Thomas and Townsend are facing one count of murder, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of contravening the Ammunitions Act and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. The State alleges they killed Heckmair, who is the son of the owners of the Cattle Baron Steak Ranch, by shooting him assassin style in his head on 7 January 2011 at Gusinde Street in Windhoek.
It is further alleged that they robbed Heckmair of his cellphone and wallet containing at 100 Swiss Franc, and that they imported two 9mm pistol barrels without a permit or alternatively possession of the 9mm barrels without a licence as well possessing a 7.65mm pistol and ammunition without a licence.
It is further alleged that they removed a notebook from police possession after the police seized it as an exhibit and/or burned, destroyed or otherwise dispose of some of the pages in the book with the aim to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. The trial is continuing and the accused persons are in custody at the trial awaiting section at the Windhoek Correctional Facility. The State is represented by deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef, Thomas by Salomon Kanyemba and Townsend by Mbanga Siyomunji.