SWAKOPMUND – Two sets of petitions are in circulation, one by those believing in the innocence of Ernst Lichtenstrasser, the only accused in the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (Nimt) double murders, and those who believe he must pay for the cold-blooded killings.
Lichtenstrasser, an employee of Nimt, who is accused of murdering the institution’s executive director Eckhart Mueller and his deputy Helmo Hellwig in April, is expected to make a formal bail application today in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court.
He is accused of shooting the two men at close range on April 15 at the Nimt Arandis campus when they reported for duty.
Those opposing bail started an online petition organised by Johan Jacobs over the weekend to oppose bail, citing fears that Lichtenstrasser might flee the country once given bail and will allegedly also influence witnesses connected to the case.
According to the staff member of Nimt who started the petition, there is no guarantee that Lichtenstrasser will not harm or kill other Nimt staff or management members.
“Please, all Namibians and international friends, distribute this petition far and wide on any social media platform you may have access, to stop the court from granting bail to Lichtenstrasser,” the petition reads. By yesterday afternoon it had over 1 919 signatures.
The second petition was started by Hafeni Ngesheya from the institution’s Tsumeb campus, who describes the suspect as a well experienced, hard-working person who has been training young Namibians.
According to the petition, the current sphere in which the suspect’s case is being handled by the state is being influenced by certain individuals, and it condemns this on the basis that there is a high possibility that people from Mueller and Hellwig’s inner circle could have murdered them. The petition also refers to the murders as suicides and questions the fact that it took place the same day an ACC investigation was about to kick off at the institution.
“Unless it can be proven that it could have been carried out by a person/s aiming to occupy the victims’ positions, it remains a perception. The number of individuals hurt by the actions of the late director can be ranging from his colleagues to students and parents as well as other important stakeholders. How do we tell who is capable? In the meantime training at Nimt is affected while our capable and well experienced trainer is kept in custody,” the petition reads. The petition that was started yesterday has so far attracted 33 signatures.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-06-13 10:45:05 6 days ago