Another murder trial was stopped in its tracks this week when High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo postponed the partly heard case to February next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The accused in the murder case are currently being held at the Windhoek Correctional Facility, where a number of positive cases of Covid-19 have been reported.
Most of the inmates are in self-isolation and are now allowed to leave the facility, including appearing in scheduled court cases.
Ferdinand Hangula (43), Lourens Aib (25) and Hendrik Nowoseb (39) are accused of murdering 71-year-old Gerhardus Petrus Koekemoer at his house in Outjo on 25 October 2014.
Nowoseb is currently serving a sentence of 44 years for the murder of his former girlfriend Wilhelmina Tsauses, whom he stabbed to death in her hospital bed after he had attacked her the previous evening.
His arrest for the murder of Tsauses is what led to the breakthrough in the Koekemoer case after he told another inmate at the Outjo police cells he is not worried about the killing of the woman, but that of a “white man” whom he and two friends robbed and killed previously.
A police officer, who was stationed at the Outjo station when the incident occurred, told the judge about a note he received from one of the inmates, informing him about another prisoner talking about killing a white man.
According to Constable Jeremia Lazarus, he was on duty caring for the prisoners at the Outjo police cells on 4 January 2015 when one of the inmates approached him and told him about a man in his cell who spoke about killing a white man.
He then advised the inmate to write down the information on a piece of paper and that he will then hand the note over to the investigating officer in the matter.
It is alleged the accused broke into the residence of Koekemoer and stabbed him to death and stole some cash, sweets, cigarettes and recharge vouchers.
It is also alleged they raped and attempted to murder a woman who lived with Koekemoer.
All three men denied guilt to charges of murder, attempted murder, rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances at the start of their trial. The trial is scheduled to return on 8 February next year, and it is set down until 12 February and again from 8 to 12 March.
Apollos Shimakeleni is representing Hangula, Jermaine Muchali is representing Aib and Natji Tjirera is on record for Nowoseb.