WINDHOEK - Windhoek High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on Monday dismissed an application by Stockley Kauejao, 43, and Afas Kamutjemo, 40, for their discharge on the murder charges they face after the State closed its case.
After State Advocate Dominic Lisulo closed the case against four men accused of the murder of renowned stock theft investigator, Hiambepo ‘Major’ Kazeurua, the lawyers for Kauejao and Kamutjemo instituted a section 174 application to have the charges dismissed. Advocate Slysken Makando on behalf of Kauejao argued that apart from hearsay evidence collected by the investigators from various witnesses, there was no direct evidence connecting his client to any wrongdoing on the matter. He submitted that two of the main witnesses contradicted themselves to such an extent that no court acting carefully can place any worthwhile reliance on their evidence.
Jan Wessels, who represents Kamutjemo, argued that his client has not been connected to any wrongdoing on the allegations he is facing and should not be put on his feet.
But Lisulo, for the State, argued that the application should fail as a prima facie case on record has been established.
Kauejao, together with Matheu Kakururume, 32, and Muvare Kaporo, 28, is on trial on charges of murder, stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice while Kamutjemo is appearing on charges of stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
According to the indictment, the accused conspired to kill Kazeurua to prevent him from tracing cattle they had stolen and Kaporo and Kakururume ambushed him and killed him by strangling him and throwing sand in his mouth to prevent him from breathing.
This happened on December 28, 2012.
The partly burned body of Kazeurua was found in an aardvark burrow on January 7, after being reported missing days earlier.
All of the accused denied any involvement in the disappearance and murder of the deceased and the stock theft.
But, a confession made by Kakururume to a magistrate shortly after his arrest was admitted into evidence by Judge Alfred Siboleka after a lengthy trial within a trial.
In his ruling on the discharge application, Judge Siboleka said that from the evidence placed before court so far, there is indeed a prima facie case requiring Kauejao and Kamutjemo to be placed on their feet and furnish answers. He further said that in an application of this nature the court is not required to make any credibility finding on the evidence. “Such a conclusion can only be done at the end of the trial itself when all the counsel have finished addressing the court before judgement,” the judge said.
He found that evidence presented placed Kauejao or “Mburuu”, as he is known, on the scene and also implicates Kamutjemo as the driver of the truck that transported the stolen cattle and as such questions were raised that need answers. He directed that the defence should start their defence, but the defence counsels indicated they need time to prepare. Judge Siboleka then postponed the matter to May 20 next year for the defence’s case.
Hipura Ujaha is representing Kakururume and Monty Karuaihe is on record for Kaporo on instructions of legal aid.
Kauejao and Kamutjemo are on bail while Kaporo and Kakururume remain in custody.