WINDHOEK – “Surely it is understandable that family members and members of the public are not happy with the commission of the offence by the accused but I am not going to punish someone who has not yet been found guilty,” said Magistrate George Mbundu.
Mbundu made these remarks yesterday when he granted bail in the amount of N$10 000 to murder accused Erastus Heita, 42, in Katutura Magistrate’s Court.
Heita stands accused of killing his live-in girlfriend of nine years Maria Megameno Kamati, 29, who is also a mother to his two children.
The father of four allegedly shot Kamati in the head on October 2, 2017 at their rented apartment in Otjomuise, Windhoek with his personal 9mm Makarov pistol.
The prosecution is charging Heita with a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act for the fatal shooting.
Heita took a no guilty plea to the charge, citing that Kamati’s death was an accidental one. In his defence he said he accidentally shot her in the process of attempting to shoot an intruder who emerged from their bedroom wardrobe that early morning.
Magistrate Mbundu informed the court that the state failed to prove that Heita was a danger to society and if granted bail he will abscond and not stand trial.
“Although the offence is of a serious nature, the state failed to convince me that he should be kept in custody pending investigations and trial,” said Mbundu.
The court noted although the investigating officer refused the granting of bail to Heita, she however indicated that he is not a danger to society.
During her testimony, the investigating officer stated that Kamati was shot while in her sleep and the relationship between Kamati and Heita was violent and abusive. Magistrate Mbundu however, noted the investigating officer failed to provide evidence in court to that effect.
in his final words, Magistrate Mbundu noted that the biggest root to Gender Based Violence (GBV) lies within the basic core of society and a lasting solution should be derived from there.
“GBV is a result of what we teach and fail to teach our children. As a society, we have failed to teach our children moral values and standards, which has not resulted in such cases. Refusing bail will not deter would be offenders from committing such offences,” explained Mbundu.
The court postponed the case for laboratory test results to December 11.