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Alleged Avis Dam killers appear in court

2024-01-22  Roland Routh

Alleged Avis Dam killers appear in court

The three men accused of the murder and robbery of businessman Daniele Ferrari made their first appearance in the Windhoek High Court on Thursday before deputy judge president Hosea Angula.

Kefas Iileka (36), Johannes Shetunyenga (35), and Antonio Muvua Cheme (28) are facing one charge of murder, two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, alternatively receiving or acquiring stolen property, defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and possession of a firearm without a licence. 

It is alleged by the State that they killed businessman Ferrari (52) by hitting and stabbing him with knives and panga(s) or other sharp objects, with the intent to steal or take from him a Samsung Galaxy S7 cellular phone, SIM card, a brown leather wallet containing approximately N$1 000 in cash, Namibian identity card, Namibian driving licence card, Namibian Medical Care Fund card, First National Bank silver card, a waist belt, a silver Swiss military Hanova wrist watch, two remote control devices, and two sets of keys. The State alleges that the aggravating circumstances exist because the accused were wielding dangerous weapons, and were inflicting grievous bodily harm on the deceased. 

All of this is alleged to have happened at Avis Dam on 14 July 2020. 

It is further alleged that they attempted to subvert the course of justice by discarding in a manner unknown to the State the panga(s) and knives used in the murder, and throwing away the ID, driver’s licence, medical aid card and bank card of the deceased, and to inform one or more of the accused that the cellphone was being traced or investigated by the police, and that the police connected or traced the cellphone to the deceased and one or more of the accused, and that it should be destroyed. 

Furthermore, they destroyed the cellphone and SIM card. They did all of this intending to interfere with police investigations into the murder of the deceased, the indictment read. They are further accused of assaulting Schalk Willem van Wyk by hitting and stabbing him with a panga or knife on the head and arm with the intent to murder him, as well as hitting Gregor Robert McGregor by striking him with a panga on his head with the intent to cause him grievous bodily harm on the same day. 

It is further alleged that the accused had an unlicensed firearm on 24 November 2020. In addition, the accused allegedly robbed Naemie Katrina Harageis of her Huawei P30 cellphone, a set of earphones, and a golden wristwatch on 10 July 2020, also at Avis Dam. It is alleged they threatened to stab her with a screwdriver or other unknown weapons, which makes it aggravating.   

Iileka and Shetunyenga were arrested and charged in connection with the robbery and murder in November 2020. 

They were arrested after Cheme informed the police that he bought the stolen cellphone from them. Iileka already confessed before a magistrate.

Cheme was arrested on charges of receiving stolen property, and obstructing or attempting to obstruct the course of justice related to the murder and robbery of Ferrari, who was killed and had his wallet, cellphone and wristwatch taken.

Cheme had to bring a formal bail application through his legal aid lawyer, Tuna Nhinda, after the State strenuously objected to it because the charges were serious, that the accused was a flight risk, and that he was likely to interfere with the investigation and with State witnesses.

Evidence during the bail hearing suggested that Cheme is a buyer of electronic gadgets without requiring proof of ownership, and that’s how he came into possession of Ferrari’s cellphone. 

The charge of defeating the course of justice came about after he allegedly instructed Iikela to destroy the phone, as it is linked to a murder investigation.

Iileka and Shetunyenga were granted bail of N$2 000 each, while Cheme was granted bail of N$5 000. Iileka is represented by Mbanga Siyomunji, and Shetunyenga by Enos Mwakondange. 

Cheme told the judge that he is still represented by Nhinda, but Nhinda was not present in court.  The court postponed their matter to 22 February.

2024-01-22  Roland Routh

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