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Sick lawyer stalls murder-for-hire trial

2019-02-01  Roland Routh

Sick lawyer stalls murder-for-hire trial

WINDHOEK - A bout of ill health affecting one of the lawyers in the murder-for-hire trial in the Windhoek High Court has effectively stalled the trial for several months as the lawyer is unable to attend court proceedings. 

Mbanga Siyomunji, who is representing Abuid Uazeua, the fourth accused, told Judge Johanna Salionga, presiding over the trial, that he was not feeling well and asked to be excused from the trial while the confessions of three of the accused were read into the record. 

His client did not make a confession. Judge Salionga has already declared three confessions admissible as evidence after a protracted trial-within-a-trial. The accused disputed the confessions claiming they were not voluntary but were made under undue coercion. 

The judge however found the confessions were made freely and voluntarily. The confessions were made by the main accused, Annastancia Nalucha Lubinda, 34, who allegedly hired five men to kill her husband Peter Riscoh Muleke, 36. It is alleged by the state that she hired David Matali, 45, David Kondjara, 32, Abuid Uazeua, Donald Hindjou and Oviritje artist Dollam Tjitjahuma, 27, to kill her husband. The other confessions were made by David Kondjara, 32 and Donald Hindjou. David Matali has since died in police custody.

The state is alleging that Lubinda paid her co-accused N$3 000 to carry out the killing.
In her confession read into the record by veteran magistrate Rina Horn, Lubinda said she was a victim of domestic abuse with regular beatings and a near-fatal stabbing. This caused her to look for a way out, she said in her statement. 

According to her, David Matali was the one that influenced her to have her husband killed and he told her about a person who could supply her with poison, but when this did not materialise gave her a cell number of people who kill for money. 
She then contacted the hit men whose initial price was N$50 000, Lubinda stated, but it was lowered to N$5 000 when she told them she could not afford the higher price, and then to N$3 000.  

Kondjara and Hindjou also made statements to a magistrate in which they claim that while they were present at the crime scene, they did not partake in the killing. 

According to them it was Uazeua and Dollam who killed the deceased with the help of Matali. Lubinda was also present and was telling the men to make it quick.

Lubinda said in her statement she asked her late husband to take her to Goreangab dam on that fateful day to collect money from someone while knowing full well that the hit men were waiting for them there.   
The lifeless body of Muleke was found near Penduka at the Goreangab dam on March 30, 2017. 

The statements of Kondjara and Hindjou were taken by magistrates Vanessa Stanley and Suretha Savage respectively. Lubinda alone is charged with murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, while her co-accused are charged with murder among other charges, including theft for stealing the deceased’s cellphone and simcard.
Lubinda is represented by Milton Engelbrecht on instructions of legal aid, Matali is represented by Trevor Brockerhoff also on the ticket of legal aid, Kondjara, Hindjou and Tjitjahuma by legal aid lawyers Tuna Nhinda, Meriam Kenaruzo and Natji Tjirera and the state is represented by Advocate Marthino Olivier. 
The trial is set to continue on July 8 and all accused are in custody.

2019-02-01  Roland Routh

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