The long-running murder and stock theft trial of four men, accused of murdering renowned stock theft investigator Hiambepo ‘Major’ Kazeurua, has been delayed once more. This time, it is an application for a postponement by State advocate Esekiel Ipinge to allow the police to trace a witness, Katarua Njembo, to testify on behalf of Stockley Kauejao (45), the main accused in the murder trial.
Windhoek High Court Acting Judge, Alfred Siboleka ordered Ipinge to assist Kauejao to get hold of Njembo on behalf of Kauejao. Ipinge told the judge on Wednesday that he had issued a subpoena, and sent it to the acting investigating officer in the matter. But so far, they have failed to locate the witness.
However, he told the court that they had received promising information on the whereabouts of the witness, and just needed a little time to find her.
Judge Siboleka agreed to the postponement after none of the other legal representatives had any objection. The matter will now return to court today.
The judge has already dismissed an application by Kauejao to give his evidence-in-chief afresh since he was unrepresented when he gave such evidence. Siboleka ordered Kauejao to continue without legal representation after he failed to secure the services of a lawyer after he lost the services of advocate Slysken Makando.
He then obtained the services of Salomon Kanyemba, who made the application on his behalf.
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 as per 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 Kakururume, who recently applied for bail after languishing in custody since their arrest in 2012.
The only one who is currently on bail is Afas Kamutjemo (45).
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 were 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 Kakururume 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.