WINDHOEK - The nephew of a shop owner from Katutura accused of murdering a 21-year-old woman with a single gunshot to the stomach, on Friday testified in the defence of his uncle.
Christian Imbili, who said he helped out his uncle at his shop at the Katutura Groot Winkels complex when he was not at school, informed Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute that he was present at the shop on the day in question.
According to him, his uncle, Sakarias (Sacky) Mathias, opened the shop that morning and then went away for a while.
When he returned they heard a vehicle spinning outside the shop and Mathias asked who was driving recklessly in front of his shop and they went to investigate.
When they came to stand at the entrance of the shop, they saw three men get out of the vehicle and come to where he and his uncle were standing in the doorway of the shop.
He further said the three men, whom he did not know, then made threats against his uncle, saying: ‘You old man, we know you, you are very full of yourself here in Herero location, we can stab you, even serious crime know about us.”
He said his uncle just stood there in silence and then he told him that he had forgotten to lock his car.
“While my uncle was walking towards his car, the three men followed him and then two grabbed his arms while the third searched his pockets,” Imbili said and continued: “I could not see whether they took something from him, but after they started to run away – one to the left and the other two towards BSK Bar on the right – my uncle ran after them.”
He said that the one behind stumbled and almost fell and in the process something black fell from his body.
According to Imbili, his uncle ran after them shouting ‘bring back my money’ and in the process picked up the black thing that fell.
“I did not follow them and while still standing in the door of my uncle’s shop I heard gunshots – about four,” he said, adding that he did not follow or try to help his uncle as he was still very young and scared.
During cross-examination by State Advocate Palmer Khumalo the witness said that he was scared as it was the first time for him to encounter such an incident.
During his evidence in chief, Mathias told the court very much the same story, but added that the men took N$2 500 from his pocket and he just wanted to get his money back.
According to him, after he picked up the pistol which fell from the body of one of the men, he went to the door of the bar and asked them for his money back and that was when Patrick Hawala, one of the complainants, pulled a knife and threatened to stab him.
Mathias further told the court that he then fired two shots at the wall and when Awala advanced on him, he aimed the pistol at Awala in order to shoot him in the leg, but Awala pulled the deceased, Magdalena Fredricks, in front of him and the shot struck her in the abdomen.
Mathias faces a charges of murder, attempted murder, arms and ammunitions charges and a charge of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice relating to the shooting incident on April 9, 2014.
He is represented by Trevor Brockerhoff and the matter will return to court on August 8 for submissions on the verdict.
Mathias is free on bail.