Oviritje musician Dollam Tjitjahuma, who is one of the accused in a murder-for-hire case, has been granted bail of N$3 000 in the Windhoek High Court.
The 30-year-old Tjitjahuma was released on bail as the murder trial continues in the High Court. Tjitjahuma is appearing alongside David Kondjara (33), Abuid Uazeua (40) and Donald Hindjou (29) on a charge that they allegedly killed Peter Riscoh Muleke (36) at the behest of his wife Annastancia Lubinda.
After the state closed its case last year, Uazeua and Tjitjahuma applied for a section 174 discharge, which was denied, except for a charge of possession of drugs after the police allegedly found 15 grams of dagga in the room they rented in Katutura on 1 April last year.
They also face a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice for allegedly destroying dagga inside the house after the police came knocking at the door.
They were acquitted on these charges in the section 174 ruling. They, however, still face a charge of murder and one of robbery with aggravating circumstances. They are part of an alleged murder-for-hire plot in which a City of Windhoek employee lost his life in a most barbaric manner.
The lifeless body of Muleke was found near Penduka in Goreangab on 30 March 2015, with his body surrounded by bloody rocks.
The prosecution is alleging Lubinda hired the men to kill her husband for a fee of N$5 000. One of their co-accused, David Matali, died last year in custody. Lubinda is facing a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, while her co-accused are charged with murder.
They also face a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances for allegedly robbing the victim of his cell phone and SIM card.
According to the indictment, the accused conspired to kill Muleke.
During the defence case, Lubinda, Kondjara and Hindjou all refuted confessions they allegedly made to magistrates, saying they were assaulted and told what to say in the confessions by the investigator, a certain Sergeant Nuule.
The confessions were, however, ruled admissible by Judge Johanna Salionga after a trial-within-a-trial to determine their admissibility.
During their evidence in chief, however, all three disputed the confessions, and distanced themselves from it.
They all denied knowing each other, or being involved in a scheme to murder Muleke.
Tjitjahuma did not testify in his own defence, and his legal aid lawyer Natji Tjirera made the application for him to be released on bail.
Tjirera told the court he has patiently waited for any of the accused persons to implicate his client in the commission of the offence.
According to him, the only manner in which his client is implicated is through the disputed confessions.
“None of the accusations against my client have been repeated under oath, and now the chickens have come home to roost,” Tjirera told the judge.
He further said that it would be a travesty of justice if Tjitjahuma is to remain in custody for another minute as it is certain that he would be acquitted at the end of the trial.
He asked that Tjitjahuma be released on warning from the court.
Not so fast, said Marthino Olivier on behalf of the prosecution.
While he had no objection to Tjitjahuma being released, he wanted it to be at a fixed amount.
The trial will continue on 28 July for submissions on the verdict.
The rest of the accused remain in custody.