WINDHOEK - The two men still in custody over the alleged murder of renowned stock theft investigator, Hiambepo ‘Major’ Kazeurua yesterday asked the Windhoek High Court to allow them to apply for bail on their own.
Appearing without legal representation, Mathew Kakururume (32), Muvare Kaporo (28) asked Acting High Court Judge Claudia Claasen to grant them an opportunity to apply for bail.
The judge however would have none of it, and asked the men whether they are still represented by the lawyers that appeared on their behalf in the main trial.
Both answered that they are still represented, but that their lawyers have not contacted them since their last court appearance in September when their trial was postponed to May next year. Kakururume told Judge Claasen that he objected to the long postponement and the presiding judge told him to apply for bail. He said he then asked his state funded lawyer, Hipura Ujaha, to lodge the application on his behalf, but to date has heard nothing from him.
He said he then approached the Directorate of Legal Aid to provide him with a lawyer, but they declined because of insufficient funds. “I then decided to bring the application on my own, as I have been in custody for more than five years,” Kakururume told the judge. Kaporo had the same tale to tell Acting Judge Claasen, but said he only sees his Legal Aid lawyer, Monte Karuaihe, when he appears in court and he has no contact with him. He also pleaded with the court to allow them to apply for bail on their own.
Judge Claasen then warned the two men that applying for bail on their own is a risky business as they might reveal incriminating evidence when put under cross-examination. “It could result in a catch 22 situation,” the judge remarked.
She said she will remand the matter to this Friday for the applicants to bring written evidence that Legal Aid refused to appoint legal representatives for them and whether they are or not represented by Ujaha and Karuaihe.
Kakururume and Kaporo are charged together with Stockley Kavejao, 43, and Afas Kamutjemo, 41, with murder, stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. All pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of their trial in August 2015, Kavejao has in the meantime succeeded in getting bail.
The accused are all alleged to be involved in the gruesome murder and mutilation of Kazeurua whose partly burned body was found in an Aardvark burrow on January 7, after being reported missing for days earlier.
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 allegedly on December 28, 2012. It is further alleged the accused defeated or obstructed the course of justice or attempted to defeat or obstruct the course of justice when they burned the vehicle of the deceased, burned and buried the body of the deceased, gave money to Kaporo and Kakururume to leave the district of Gobabis after the death of the deceased and the theft of the cattle, burn destroy or otherwise dispose of the ear tags of the cattle, keeping the stolen cattle on Farm Groot Ums and/or mixing these cattle with other cattle kept at farm Groot Ums and attempting to brand the stolen cattle with the registered brand mark of Kamutjemo.