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Killer ex-paramedic appeals conviction

2022-05-17  Maria Amakali

Killer ex-paramedic appeals conviction

A former military paramedic serving 35-years-imprisonment for killing his ex-girlfriend four years ago, wants to be granted leave by the High Court to appeal his conviction in the Supreme Court.

Johannes Neuaka (44) through his lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji yesterday said they believe another court placed with the same evidence will have a different conclusion on the case.

Siyomunji argued that testimonies and statements by State witnesses had contradictions and inconsistencies. 

However, prosecutor Ethel Ndlovu said the court was right in convicting Neuaka on all the charges he was facing. She requested the court to dismiss the application as she does not believe that Neuaka has any prospect of winning in the Supreme Court.

Neuaka was sentenced to 35-years imprisonment in February after High Court Judge Naomi Shivute convicted him of having killed his former girlfriend and mother to his son, Shané Rittmann (25) in Windhoek on 21 January 2018.

Shivute also convicted Neuaka on two counts of attempted murder, a charge of assault, counts of discharging a firearm and pointing of a firearm, and charges of possessing a firearm and ammunition without a licence as well.

Shivute convicted Neuaka in November 2021 after she dismissed his version of events. She noted that Neuaka, a trained paramedic opted to run away after he shot Rittmann in the head, instead of rendering assistance. 

The court accepted the version of Rittmann’s 15-year-old sister who is the only eyewitness to the murder. 

She informed the court that she saw Neuaka pull out a gun, point it to the deceased’s head and shooting her in her mother’s home yard on Michael Angelo Street in Damara Location, Katutura.

Thereafter, Neuaka allegedly jumped into a car and left.

However, in his defence, Neuaka testified Rittmann was accidentally shot when she grabbed the arm, he was holding the firearm with.

On the date in question, he allegedly picked up a firearm while he was waiting for a friend to take him to the deceased’s mother’s residence to drop off his child.

After he dropped off the child, Neuaka said, the deceased wanted to see the pistol and as he lifted it at a 90-degree angle to make it safe, she suddenly pulled his arm down and a shot went off striking her in the face.

He further said that he did not have the intention to kill the deceased and that he left the scene because he was shocked and confused, and it was only later that he calmed down and decided to hand himself over to the police.

The court will give its ruling on the application for leave to appeal on 17 June. Neuaka remains a serving inmate.

2022-05-17  Maria Amakali

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