Maria Amakali, Selma Ikela
WINDHOEK – Two Namibian Defence Force members, arrested for allegedly shooting and killing two civilians during Operation Kalahari Desert, have been granted bail in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court.
The two soldiers, who have been charged with murder, were each granted bail of N$2 000 by magistrate Johannes Shuuveni. Mulele Darrel Nyambe was granted bail yesterday following a formal hearing that started on Monday, while Gerson Nakale was already out on bail since 7 August.
Both bail hearings have seemingly been kept under wraps. Nyambe was arrested in connection with the September shooting of 32-year-old Benisius Kalola in Smarties location in Katutura, while Nakale allegedly shot and killed Zimbabwean-born taxi driver Talent Fambaune in June during an Operation Kalahari Desert roadblock in Greenwell Matongo.
Nakale’s case has been postponed to 22 November for further police investigations.
During Nyambe’s formal bail hearing, members of the public were not allowed in the courtroom.
This was the same during Nyambe’s first court appearance where the NDF special field force also closed off the courtroom and the media were not allowed to take any pictures of the accused.
As condition of his release, the court ordered that Nyambe not interfere with ongoing police investigations or state witnesses that may be known to him.
Furthermore, he may not leave the district of Windhoek without prior approval from the investigating officer who is dealing with his case.
Speaking to New Era, Kalola’s family were displeased with the court’s decision to release Nyambe on bail.
“We are distraught. The matter should be looked at again. The family of the suspect never apologised to us. The deceased has only been buried for three weeks now and the accused has already been released on bail. We are not happy,” said Martha Kalola, the sister of the deceased.
According to the family’s petition directed to the prosecutor-general, the court should not have given bail to Nyambe, considering the influential position he holds as a member of the superior armed forces in Namibia.
The family also fear he might interfere with police investigations.
Police reports at the time of the incident indicate that Kalola was shot with an AK-47 in the back at Smarties location – a couple of metres from his family home at Single Quarters in Katutura.
This happened after a hot pursuit of Kalola by armed NDF members.
Kalola succumbed to his injuries at Katutura state hospital hours after the shooting.
Kalola was shot while members of the operation were on a search for narcotics where a substantial amount of cannabis/dagga was recovered and three suspects were arrested.
Nyambe’s case was postponed for further police investigations to 29 January, 2020 for further police investigations.