Maria Amakali WINDHOEK - Following the death of former student leader Helao Ndjaba on Monday evening, Namibia’s Commissioner for Refugees Likius Valombola, who is now charged with murder, yesterday fought tooth and nail to be released on bail. Ndjaba succumbed to head injuries around 20h00 on Monday after days of fighting for his life at Katutura Intermediate Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). The former Nanso national executive member was shot in the forehead during an incident that occurred on May 19 in the Oshitenda area of Windhoek - in what seems to have been a road rage incident that spiraled out of control. Valombola made his second appearance yesterday for his bail hearing before Magistrate Antonius Shapumba in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court where his attempted murder charge was converted to a charge of murder. The prosecution alleges he intentionally fired the shots with intent to kill the 27-year-old Ndjaba. Valombola has denied guilt, citing he did not intend to harm anyone when he fired what he professes were warning shots. He says he fired the warning shots because at the time he feared for his life after three men banged on his vehicle. The court went dead silent yesterday when the deceased’s younger brother Lameck Ndjaba took the witness stand and gave an emotional testimony. Lameck could barely contain his tears when he told the court that his family held no grudge against Valombola. He said they have forgiven him for the unfortunate incident and they understood how he must be feeling but demanded that justice prevail in the matter. “As a family we do oppose the granting of bail because our brother did not deserve what happened to him. It is not fair. He had people that cared about him but now he is not here anymore. If he is granted bail, justice will not be served,” said a tearful Ndjaba. Ndjaba was not cross-examined by defense counsel Sisa Namandje on the request of an equally emotional Valombola, to respect the grieving family. Police investigator Detective Sergeant Moses Shivolo testified that from the witness statements there had been a car (Toyota Corolla) that had broken down on King Kauluma Street in Oshitenda. “The driver of the SUV Honda and the passenger (Valombola) allegedly got out of the vehicle to tell them to move the vehicle off the road,” explained Shivolo. An altercation occurred between the owners of the Toyota Corolla, Valombola and his son. After the altercation Valombola and his son went back to their vehicle. “The witnesses allegedly heard two gunshots before the driver off the SUV drove off. One witness immediately drove after them and took a picture of the car which ultimately led to the arrest of the suspect,” explained Shivolo. Shivolo added that there was no need for Valombola to fire the two warning shots as his life was not in any danger. According to witnesses, they asked Valombola and his son to drive past the static Corolla just like all other motorist did. “A person was killed and he was only a bystander. He was not part of those allegedly hitting the accused’s car,” said Shivolo. Ndjaba is said to have moved closer to the vehicle after an altercation erupted. He was reportedly on the side of the road trying to catch a taxi when he got shot. Shivolo also clarified the circumstances surrounding the controversial release and re-arrest of Valombola. According to him, Valombola was released on the orders of his [Shivolo’s] superior despite the suspect being deemed a flight risk. Namandje stated that the release of Valombola on May 19 after his arrest on the same day shows that there was no fear that he would abscond. “There was fear but you need to understand that every house has its own rules and I had to comply with the instructions that were given to me by my superior,” narrated Shivolo. State prosecutor Arie Husselman informed the court that the state is objecting bail on grounds that it would not be in the best interest of the public or administration of justice and there is fear that Valombola might abscond. The prosecution also opposes bail considering the seriousness of the offense and it believes it has a strong case which could result in a stiff sentence, should the accused be convicted. The defence however argued that the court should not fall prey to the pressure from the society in making a ruling. The court is expected to pronounce itself on the bail hearing tomorrow.
2018-05-30 09:04:01 3 months ago