WINDHOEK - The Katutura Magistrate’s Court last week postponed the formal bail hearing of murder accused Johannes Neuaka in order for the court record to be transcribed.
Neuaka, 39, faces a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act for the death of Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann, 25, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child. Furthermore, the prosecution is charging Neuaka with a count of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence and a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm. Rittmann died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Neuaka, a former soldier in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) based at Osona military base, has been in custody since he handed himself over to the police after committing the gruesome act on January 21. After nearly eight months in police custody, Neuaka has been trying to convince the court he is worthy of bail while awaiting trial.
Pleading not guilty to the charge, Neuaka said Rittmann’s death was an accident and thus he should not be kept in custody as punishment pending his trial since the court has not yet found him guilty.
According to Neuaka’s testimony, Rittmann’s death was an accident. He explained that Rittmann accidentally got shot when he was showing her a gun that he had just picked up from her mother’s yard moments after he dropped off their son who had spent the night with him.
The prosecution strongly opposes the release of Neuaka on bail on grounds the offence is of a serious nature and there is fear he will abscond and not stand trial. Furthermore, it will not be in the interest of the public nor the administration of justice.
The prosecution is charging that Neuaka intentionally killed his girlfriend and mother of his child when he shot her in the head. According to the State, a 13-year-old witness saw Neuaka pull out a gun, point it at the deceased’s head and shoot her in her mother’s backyard on Michael Angelo Street in Damara location, Katutura.
Neuaka is scheduled to return to court on September 13 after Magistrate Brigitte Okamaru postponed the case in Neuaka’s absence for the typing of the record. Defence attorney Mbanga Siyomunji is representing Neuaka.