Maria Amakali Windhoek-A police officer assigned to the Drug Law Enforcement Unit of the Namibian police got off lightly on a charge of attempted murder in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Magistrate Vanessa Stanley acquitted Sinvula Sinvula, 31, on a charge of attempted murder, but found him guilty on an alternative charge of negligently discharging a firearm. Sinvula was on trial for a shooting incident that took place last year. He was ordered to pay a fine of N$4,000 or serve 12 months in prison for the alternative charge of negligently discharging a firearm. The court also declared Sinvula unfit to be in possession of a firearm for a period of two years. Magistrate Stanley said the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt: “This court is not convinced that the State proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had the intention of killing the taxi driver or his passengers.” According to witnesses and passengers who took the stand during the trial, Sinvula approached a taxi asking for a lift to Katutura, to which the driver responded that he was not headed that way. The driver noticed that Sinvula had a gun in his possession and, according to the driver, he immediately drove off, as he thought Sinvula was going to rob them. During the trial the witnesses revealed that as the car sped off Sinvula started firing at the vehicle, which caused the taxi driver to halt the car. In his defense, Sinvula said he did not aim at the vehicle, and only fired three warning shots in the air. Sinvula said he suspected that the vehicle was conveying illegal substances (drugs). He added that the taxi driver drove off immediately when he showed him his appointment certificate, which led him to fire the warning shots. “The offender has shown no remorse for his actions and even after having established that the taxi driver and his occupants had no illegal substances in their vehicle, he did not even offer them any assistance,” Stanley noted. Although there was no dispute that Sinvula fired the shots, the court was left with unanswered questions in relation to the dent on the vehicle, holes in the spare-wheel and two holes in two seats, according to the court. The fact that he was a first-time offender, gainfully employed and a lawful abiding citizen, also worked in Sinvula’s favour.
2017-12-05 09:09:57 9 months ago