WINDHOEK - A man accused of trying to kill another by shooting him with an arrow through his pelvis and injuring his intestines in December last year was granted bail in the amount of N$5 000 after a lengthy bail application hearing. Amupanda Patrick ‘David’ Awala, 34, spent the last two and a half months in custody after he was arrested on December 22 last year on charges of assault and attempted murder.
It is alleged by the State that he shot his neighbour Tangeni Andreas, 32, with an arrow with the intention to kill him. The State through Public Prosecutor Ellen Shipena opposed bail and argued David has a propensity to commit further crimes, will interfere with investigations, that granting him bail will not be in the interest of justice and the public, that he is a flight risk and that the offence committed is serious.
His privately-instructed lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji, however argued that David is an ideal candidate for bail as he wishes to prove his innocence and handed himself over to the police.
In his evidence in support of his bail application, David emphatically denied he shot Andreas and told the court there was a fracas and there were a lot of people and that any one of them could have shot the arrow.
He was also adamant that he does not own a bow or arrows. He further informed the court that the complainant and his brother attacked and assaulted him the previous day and he wanted to open a case, but the police refused. This evidence was corroborated by the investigating officer who told the court that the accused apparently approached the complainant to continue the fight they had on the previous day. While this amounted to hearsay evidence, the magistrate, Desire Kamboua, said that when not disputed hearsay evidence is admissible in bail proceedings.
In her bail ruling, Kamboua said a lot of hearsay evidence was presented to her during the bail hearing and that she has to differentiate between what is fact and what is fiction.
She further said the court must strike a balance between the liberty of an accused and the proper administration of justice. “In striking a balance between the liberty of an accused and the proper administration of justice the imposition of conditions in an application for bail can be decisive. Where bail can be granted subject to safeguarding conditions, the court should, if possible, lean in favour of doing so, and even though the court is of the opinion that there is a reasonable possibility of interference with investigations, nonetheless, to the extent that there is a risk, this risk can be met by suitable conditions,” she said. Further, if the police experience any interference they may forthwith apply for re-arrest, the magistrate stated. She further said David through his legal counsel categorically denied that he will abscond and expressed his willingness to comply with strict bail conditions and that he has opened a case against the complainant, although nothing was done and that he could not have been the one who shot the arrow because of the injuries he sustained during the assault on him by the complainant and his brother. The magistrate granted David bail and ordered him not to interfere directly or indirectly with witnesses or the investigation, not leave the district of Windhoek without the prior permission of the investigating officer, hand in his passport and not apply for any new travelling documents, reports Fridays between 08h00 and 17h00 to the investigating officer and not to commit any further crimes.