A full bench of the High Court struck from the roll an appeal of a murder convict after he failed to follow proper procedures in launching his appeal. Judges Claudia Classen and Dinah Usiku said David Nikodemus (28) failed to launch a proper appeal application before the court after he failed to file various documents as per the court processes. Inaddition, someofthedocuments he filed were not commissioned and he failed to indicate proper reasons why he filed his appeal late.
Nikodemus opted to represent himself for the proceedings after the Directorate of Legal Aid did not allocate a lawyer to him. He said as a layman, he has no knowledge of the court processes and procedures to be followed when he launched his appeal. However, judge Usiku said Nikodemus should have made the effort to research and prepare for his case.
“As a layman, who decided to represent yourself, you should have researched on the procedures on how to file a proper appeal. Unfortunately, there are no separate court rules for layman applicants. It is not just a single mistake that you made; the whole application is not in order,” said Usiku before removing the matter from the court roll. The court advised Nikodemus to seek legal guidance if he wishes to bring back his appeal to the court for consideration.
Nikodemus was appealing his conviction and sentence of 17 years imprisonment, imposed on him by the Swakopmund Regional Court on 2 February 2018. Nikodemus was convicted of murder with direct intent to kill his girlfriend’s brother Silvanus Muhekeni (22). Muhekeni died from multiple stab wounds inflicted on his neck and chest area. Nikodemus allegedly inflicted the stab wounds after he and Muhekeni had a quarrel over N$20.
During the trial Nikodemus pleaded not guilty. He said he was acting in self-defence on the date in question. During his conviction, the court indicted the killing was senseless and the life taken by Nikodemus was not worth N$20. In his notice of appeal, Nikodemus claim magistrate Gaynor Poulton erred when she convicted him on a witness’ version that he killed the victim without considering Muhekeni wanted to stab him with a broken bottle.
He is arguing the sentence imposed on him was harsh as the court failed to put into consideration his age and him being a first-time offender. The court, according to Nikodemus, erred in its finding when it ruled that his actions on that specific day did not constitute self-defence.