Two Windhoek-based lawyers managed to secure bail for their clients – two NDF members – accused of stealing at least two AK47 assault rifles, a pistol and ammunition from the Namibian Defence Force. Mbanga Siyomunji and Garth Joseph convinced magistrate Olivia van der Colff to release Alweendo Namandje and Setson Uushona on bail of N$2 000 each after a formal bail application.
The State, represented by prosecutor Victoria Likius, objected to bail being granted to the two accused on the basis that the offence is serious and that it was not in the interest of justice or the public to release them on bail.
She further argued investigations were not finalised and that there is a possibility that the applicants will interfere with ongoing inquiries. Siyomunji and Joseph, however, argued the offences are not so serious that it warrants the continued incarceration of the accused and that they are not a flight risk. They further argued that their clients are Namibian citizens, gainfully employed and will stand their trial.
Namandje and Uushona are charged together with Paulus Thomas, Simon Mutola, Chicken Boris David, Elias Mweutwikange, Hiskiel Frans, Nghitiwa Silvanus Shikapepo and Luqman Davids with theft, possession of a firearm without a licence and supplying a firearm.
According to reports, they were arrested after attempting to sell an AK47 in Windhoek’s Greenwell Matongo location. At the time, police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said the two members of the NDF were arrested after they were allegedly found selling the AK-47 to a member of the public, who became suspect number three and was also arrested on the spot.
“The residence of both suspects were searched and another AK-47 was found under the bed of one of the suspects. In addition, a pistol leather holster and a fake revolver were also found in the room. One of the suspects is employed by the Namibian Defence Force depot as an armour store clerk in Windhoek,” Shikwambi was quoted as saying.
She added that upon questioning the men, the main suspect allegedly indicated he stole the guns from his employer, the NDF, and further revealed that he had also stolen seven more guns between 2018 and 2021. It is alleged that various firearms are missing from the weapons store.
All of the accused, except for Namandje and Uushona, were granted bail at the first appearance and they had to bring a formal bail application.
Magistrate Van Der Colff agreed with the submissions of Siyomunji and Joseph, and granted them bail. The matter will return to court on 27 July.