“Enough is enough.”
A clearly fed-up Windhoek High Court acting Judge Alfred Siboleka this week cancelled the bail of a 44-year-old man, accused in the murder trial of renowned stock theft investigator Hiambepo ‘Major’ Kazeurua.
The judge used the powers invested in him according to section 68(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 as amended to cancel the bail of Stockley Kauejao.
The section entails that a presiding officer may, even in the absence of evidence that an accused may abscond, cancel such bail if he feels it is in the interest of the public or the administration of justice.
The judge felt Kauejao is the reason for the various delays the trial has suffered since its start in 2015 due to the several applications, and the hire and fire of lawyers.
Kauejao is now facing the trial alone after his latest lawyer had to withdraw from the matter.
Seconds after former magistrate Iileni Velikoshi, who recently entered the realm of private practitioners, introduced himself as the new lawyer for Kauejao and immediately applied for a postponement to familiarise himself with the matter, the judge made it clear in no uncertain terms that he will not entertain another postponement for a new lawyer to come on board.
Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka, who recently retired and is only acting to complete his last trials, would, however, hear nothing of another postponement and was adamant that the trial must continue with the defence case.
He said he has had it with postponements, and that the State already closed its case in 2018 – and the continued delays in the trial could only be laid at the door of Kauejao.
During the enquiry into the bail cancellation, Kauejao vehemently denied he was the sole cause of the delays. He blamed everybody but himself, and pleaded with the judge not to cancel his bail, but tough as nails Siboleka had enough.
During his evidence in his own defence, Kauejao just made blank denials about any involvement in the matter.
He denied killing Kazeurua, burning his body, setting alight the car of the victim, or that he conspired with any of his co-accused in committing the offences of which he is accused.
He further said the only evidence that links him to the crime is the disputed confession of Mathew Kakururume, whom he met for the first time at the police station at Gobabis after his arrest.
The judge previously admitted the confession as evidence after a trial within a trial.
The matter has been coming from January 2015, and has been besieged by several delays since its inception, including applications for bail by two of the accused still in custody and appeals after bail was refused.
All of the accused pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
Kauejao and Kakururume, alongside Muvare Kaporo and Afas Kamutjemo (44), pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice at the start of their trial.
They put the onus of proof on the State for every allegation against them.
According to the indictment, the accused conspired to kill Kazeurua to prevent him from tracing cattle they had stolen.
Kaporo and Kakururume allegedly ambushed him, and killed him by strangling him and throwing sand in his mouth to prevent him from breathing.
This allegedly happened on 28 December 2012.
The partly burned body of Kazeurua was found in an Aardvark burrow on 7 January 2013 after being reported missing days earlier.
Mbanga Siyomunji is on record for Kakururume on instructions of legal aid, and Jan Wessels represents Kamutjemo on private instruction.
The State is represented by Dominic Lisulo.
Kauejao, Kakururume and Kaporo remain in custody, while Kamutjemo is out on bail.
The judge further ordered that Kauejao must be kept separate from his co-accused.