The matter in which a security company’s vehicle was robbed of over N$1 million and one of the guards killed, returned to the Windhoek High Court after 12 years.
Theodor Shipanga (43) made a first pre-trial appearance before Windhoek High Court judge Christi Liebenberg on Thursday after he was re-arrested last year for the offences committed on 11 November 2011.
The charges against him and four alleged accomplices were withdrawn in May 2014 after the prosecutor general’s decision on how to proceed with the matter was unavailable after several postponements.
Theodor, a former employee of Southern Cross Security Services, was charged with several counts including murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
His brother Aksel Shipanga was the second accused charged with theft, while the third accused Victory Shipanga also faced a charge of theft. Petrina Binga and Samuel Iileka were both charged with a count of theft, based on allegations they had removed money from the scene of the armed robbery.
They were implicated in the theft of N$1.2 million, which Theodore, according to the allegations, stole from the vehicle after shooting dead his colleague before setting the van alight. The incident happened when Theodor and his 22-year-old colleague Shain van Wyk were on their way back to Windhoek after collecting money in the northern regions.
Van Wyk was fatally shot in the head.
The police later found Van Wyk’s body under a bridge, 64 kilometres south of Otjiwarongo. Theodor allegedly discarded the body under the bridge along the Otjiwarongo-Okahandja road and made off with the money.
Theodor was arrested when he went to the police station to report the crime.
He claims he and the deceased were robbed by two unknown men who they had given a lift from their last pick-up point at Otjiwarongo.
He allegedly burnt the vehicle between Freedomland and Ombili settlements before getting away with the cash. Residents of these settlements who picked up money that fell from the vehicle were charged with theft as well. After the withdrawal of the matter, the PG decided last year to arraign only the accused on the charges as the charges against the other accused could not be sustained. Theodor is now facing charges of murder, robbery and defeating the course of justice on his lonesome. It is alleged by the State that he buried the cash in the ground and in a pot at the residence of his siblings.
At the time of the withdrawal, the PG issued a statement in which she denied that her office was at fault for the withdrawal.
“As a matter of fact, the PG’s office has been liaising with the police for further instructions because the investigations on this case were not finished and thus the PG could not be expected and cannot give a decision on a case that has unfinished investigations,” a statement from her office read.
“Unfortunately, Nampol never re-submitted the case docket, despite numerous [queries] as to why it was not re-submitted,” she said. She further said her office and the State’s counsel could not be held responsible for the case being withdrawn and that her office has taken steps to find out why the prosecutor provided misleading information to the court that the docket was referred to her office for advice when this was not the case.
The matter was postponed to 16 March.