WINDHOEK – It was not business as usual at Katutura Magistrate’s Court where a heavily guarded and shielded member of Namibia Defence Force (NDF) accused of shooting and killing a man last week made his appearance yesterday.
The NDF special field force also closed off the courtroom and the media were not allowed to take any pictures of the accused, identified as Mulele Darrel Nyambe.
Nyambe, who is facing a charge of murder for the death of Benisius Kalola, 32, during a street patrol of the joint Operation Kalahari Desert last week, was denied bail following his brief appearance. His case was postponed for further police investigations to January 29, 2020.
Asked about the unusual circumstances in which Nyambe appeared in court, Operation Kalahari spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Petrus Shilumbu said that it is the norm to protect the accused person.
“That is how it is supposed to be, not how it was handled the last time. Now do you want to publish his photo and put his life in danger? You are a government newspaper. You cannot expose everything,” said Shilumbu bluntly.
Efforts to get a comment from the Katutura Magistrate’s Court control prosecutor proved futile as his phone went unanswered.
Speaking to New Era after the court proceedings, Kalola’s aunt Laina Nekundi said that the family does not understand why the accused was being given preferential treatment.
“As the bereaved family that has lost their loved one, we feel like they are protecting the person that killed our son. They need to explain why they killed our son. Because now there are many versions of what actually happened. We are very saddened by the passing of our son who died at a very young age and in such an inhumane manner,” noted Nekundi.
Kalola was shot with an AK-47 in the back at Smarties location – a couple of metres from his family home at Single Quarters in Katutura.
This happened after a hot pursuit of Kalola by armed NDF members. Kalola succumbed to his injuries at Katutura State Hospital, hours after the shooting.
Kalola was shot while members of the operation were on search of narcotics where a substantial amount of cannabis/dagga was recovered and three suspects were arrested.
Kalola had two pending robbery cases registered with the police prior to being gunned down last week.