WINDHOEK – A former paramedic in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), who is accused of shooting his girlfriend and mother of his three-year-old daughter, is appealing a decision of a magistrate denying him bail.
Magistrate AB Okamaru refused to release Johannes Neuaka, 40, on bail for fear that he might interfere with state witnesses and that he is a danger to society.
She had further said that it would not be in the interest of justice if Neuaka was free to roam the streets.
Neuaka faces a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, a charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence and a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm.
All charges are in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend whom he allegedly shot in the head on January 21, 2016.
During the original bail application, Neuaka told the court that the deceased, Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann, 25, was shot accidentally when she grabbed the arm he was holding the firearm with.
He testified that on the day in question he picked up the firearm while he was waiting for a friend to take him to the deceased’s mother’s residence to drop off his child.
After he dropped off the child, Neuaka said, the deceased wanted to see the pistol and as he lifted it in a 90 degree angle to make it safe, she suddenly pulled his arm down and a shot went off striking her in the face.
He further said that he did not have the intention to kill the deceased and that he left the scene because he was shocked and confused, and it was only later that he calmed down and decided to hand himself over to the police.
He also told the magistrate that he wants to humbly apologise to the family of the deceased as well as the Namibian society; that he never intended to kill anyone, but that he takes full responsibility although it was an accident.
In the appeal Mbanga Siyomunji, who is representing Neuaka on instructions of legal aid, argued that the magistrate was wrong when she concluded that the version of Neuka was so full of contradictions that it was unbelievable.
He further said the magistrate was wrong when she said the accused failed to satisfy the court on balance of probabilities that he should be released on bail.
Siyomunji listed 11 grounds of appeal, all saying that the magistrate was wrong in her decision not to release Neuka on bail.
He concluded that there is no evidence presented to court to show that the release of Neuaka on bail would not be in the public interest and the administration of justice.
State Advocate Moyo told Acting Windhoek High Court Judge Petrus Unengu at the High Court, situated at the Windhoek Correctional Service facility, that there is nothing in the record to suggest that the magistrate made the wrong conclusions.
He further said that there is nothing in this instance that warrants the interference with the magistrate’s decision by the court of appeal.
In fact, he said, there is nothing in the record from which it can be concluded that the magistrate took into account irrelevant considerations, disregarded relevant considerations and applied the law wrongly or got the facts plainly wrong.
Judge Unengu reserved his ruling to July 10.