A Windhoek resident who was acquitted on a murder charge at the end of his trial in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in November 2018, is seeking justice and public assistance to appeal to the Supreme Court.
He would like to be assisted to pay for legal representation or to be represented voluntarily.
Mandume Paulus was arrested on a murder charge in 2012 and spent six months in police custody before he was released on bail. His trial took seven years to be finalised. He was acquitted on the murder charge in relation to the death of Herman Uugwanga who was allegedly killed on New Year’s Eve of 2012.
Seeking for justice
Paulus accused the state of unconstitutional prosecution, unlawful detention, and arrest. He attempted to sue the state through the Ministry of Justice Department of Legal Aid in 2019 for damages amounting to N$1.1 million. However, his application was dismissed by the High Court on 19 February 2021 and absolved the state. He was ordered to pay the legal cost of the state.
Paulus now wants to appeal to the Supreme Court and requests assistance from the public after his application seeking for a legal representative was declined by the Department of Legal Aid.
According to a letter from legal aid seen by New Era, Paulus was informed that his application was unsuccessful due to the moratorium on the outsourcing of instructions to private lawyers in place since September last year.
The letter further mentioned that the department does not have the capacity to instruct in-house lawyers and therefore his file will be closed.
“I do not have money to pay a private lawyer and throughout the years after I was released from jail, I was unable to acquire employment as I was turned away by employers due to this case,” he said.
He told New Era that he is seeking justice as the case has emotionally and psychologically affected him, and his image and reputation have been tarnished.
“My children were taken away from me and nobody feels safe around me. I do not have friends and some family members have neglected me,” cried the father of two.