A police investigator dealing with the case of incarcerated social activist, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma was astonished to hear that one of the charges he initially charged him with was dropped.
Upon his arrest on 21 March, Nauyoma was charged the following day on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property, incitement to public violence, and contempt of court.
However, he is now only facing the first three counts except contempt of court.
“This is news to me as they are not the same ones that I put to him when I charged him at the police station. Whatever charges were removed, I do not know,” said Garoeb.
Garoeb took the witness stand in Katutura Magistrate’s Court yesterday as the only State witness to substantiate the reasons why Nauyoma is not a good candidate for bail.
Asked why he was adamant on Nauyoma not being a good candidate for bail when his co-accused Inna Hengari who faces similar charges was granted bail, Garoeb said the activist has shown that he has the propensity to commit similar offences.
He said Nauyoma was arrested on similar charges before although that case was provisionally withdrawn by the State.
On the charge of malicious damage to property, where a police vehicle was damaged, Garoeb said the only evidence linking Nauyoma to it is that he was part of the group that threw stones at the police vehicle – causing damage to the windscreen.
In his defence, Nauyoma said he was shocked to learn that he has caused damage to a police vehicle. He said he had no idea why he was even arrested as on the day in question, he was simply informing the protesters who were gathered at Katutura Youth Centre to disburse and protest another day due to the High Court’s order.
The High Court dismissed their application for a planned public demonstration on Namibia’s high rate of unemployment, citing the matter was not urgent.
The demonstration was planned for 21 March.
Nauyoma’s lawyer Milton Engelbrecht, on instructions of Kadhila Amoomo Legal Practitioners, said the State has failed to prove that he is not a good candidate for bail.
Also, the State does not have a strong prima facie case against him and has failed to demonstrate that it would not be in the public’s interest or administration of justice if Nauyoma is released on bail.
Thus, he should be granted bail in the amount of N$5 000 on condition that he does not get involved in any illegal demonstration or gathering.
The State is opposing bail on the grounds that there is likelihood that once Nauyoma is released on bail, he will commit similar offences. The State made reference to the case in which he was arrested during a protest in Chinatown, Windhoek.
“Both cases involve the public and were a result of illegal gatherings. This shows that the applicant has the capacity to commit similar offences,” said prosecutor Tatelo Lusepani.
The court will give a ruling in the matter on 3 April.
Nauyoma and co-accused Michael Amushelelo were scheduled to have a joint bail hearing yesterday. However, they later opted to have individual hearings. The date for Amushelelo’s bail hearing is yet to be announced.
Hengari is out on bail.
Nauyoma, Amushelelo, and Hengari were arrested on 21 March when they led a planned public demonstration on Namibia’s high rate of unemployment.
Their case has been postponed to 27 April for further police investigations.