The Directorate of Legal Aid in the Ministry of Justice has instructed lawyer Jermaine Muchali as the legal representative of the biological mother of a nine-year-old girl, who was killed and her body burned allegedly by her and two co-accused.
Muchali confirmed the appointment but indicated he did not receive the formal instruction yesterday morning when Rachel Kureva (40) appeared in a pre-trial hearing before Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg.
Upon enquiry from this newspaper, Muchali said as soon as he receives his formal instructions, he will lodge an application to review the decision of the prosecutor general to re-instate the charges against Kureva.
He said that decision is ultra vires (beyond the powers), as the prosecutor general already declined to prosecute.
The PG declined to prosecute Kureva in January last year when she decided to arraign Edward Nkata (39) and Caroline Nkata (38) in the High Court. They are all Zimbabwean nationals.
The PG, however, made a U-turn after the 14-year-old son of the Nkatas, who are accused with her of the brutal murder of Akundaishe Natalie Chipomho, made a statement to the police that also implicates her.
The PG then indicated she must face charges of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, defeating the course of justice and violating a dead body.
She was re-arrested in early January and made a first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court, where her trial was postponed for the prosecutor general’s decision by magistrate Kandiwapa Nembia.
The High Court trial was ready to start with only the Nkatas until advocate Ethel Ndlovu brought an application for a postponement of the trial, as the State wants to join Kureva to the matter.
The Nkatas will face additional charges of attempted murder, fraud, alternatively uttering a forged document, forgery and contravening the Immigration Control Act.
It is alleged that the accused assaulted the nine-year-old Chipomho to death, burnt her body and dumped the remains in a rubbish bin in Windhoek North between 23 and 25 January 2020.
The Nkatas are also charged with attempting to kill Edward’s then 11-year-old son by hitting him with a belt and unknown object all over his body between 20 and 22 January 2020. However, he survived the ordeal.
On the charge of obstructing the course of justice, the State is alleging the couple removed Chipomho’s body from their home, dumped it in a municipal skip and set it alight in an attempt to evade prosecution.