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Murder accused granted date for bail hearing

2018-10-03  Maria Amakali

Murder accused granted date for bail hearing

WINDHOEK - The Katutura Magistrate’s Court has set a date to pronounce itself on the formal bail application of Johannes Neuaka, 39, who stands accused of fatally gunning down his girlfriend and mother of his child last January.

Magistrate Esme Molefe is set to deliver judgement in Neuaka’s bail application next week. Neuaka has been trying to convince the court that he is worthy of being released from police custody on bail while he awaits trial. 

During court proceedings in Katutura yesterday, state prosecutor Chainda Mpule informed the court that the judgement in Neuaka’s case was not ready. Mpule added that the court is currently busy with a partly heard matter and submissions for formal bail application on another matter. 

Neuaka’s case was on the court roll for a bail judgement after the court postponed the matter for transcription last month.
Neuaka, a former soldier in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) faces a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, a count of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence and a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm. All charges emanate from the gruesome death of Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann 25, who was shot in the head on January 21.

Rittman was killed in her mother’s yard in Michael Angelo Street in Damara location, Katutura.
Neuaka pleaded not guilty to the charges claiming her death was an ‘accident’ and thus he should not be kept in custody pending his trial as punishment, when the court has not yet found him guilty on the charges he faces. 
According to Neuaka’s testimony, Rittmann accidentally got shot when he was showing her a gun that he had just picked up from their yard moments after he had dropped off their son who had spent the night with him.

However, the prosecution alleges Neuaka intentionally killed his girlfriend and mother of his child when he shot her in the head. According to the State, a 13-year-old witness saw Neuaka pull out a gun, point it in the direction of the deceased’s head and shoot her in her mother’s backyard along Michael Angelo Street in Damara location in Katutura.

According to witnesses, Neuaka had threatened to kill the deceased on numerous occasions. They indicated that he was abusive during their five-year relationship. He allegedly stabbed her once and strangled her, according to witnesses.
The State is objecting to the release of Neuaka on bail as there is fear that he might abscond given that he faces a lengthy period in jail once he is convicted. Furthermore, the charges he is facing are of a serious nature and it will not be in the interest of the public nor the administration of justice.

2018-10-03  Maria Amakali

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