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Swakop murder trial resumes tomorrow

2021-11-16  Maria Amakali

Swakop murder trial resumes tomorrow
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The trial of two of three men, accused of attacking and murdering an elderly couple at their Swakopmund home in 2017, was postponed to tomorrow. 

High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg yesterday ordered the trial of Jerobeam Simon Shidute (26) and Fabian Tangi-omwene Lazarus (29) to resume on 17 November. 

The court gave the postponement to allow Shidute’s newly appointed lawyer Tjingairi Kaurivi to familiarize himself with the gist of the case and consult with him. 

The two are on trial on two counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery and housebreaking. 

The duo was initially indicted alongside Daniel Nghilifa Stefanus, but he escaped from police custody in February 2019.

The charges are in relation to the incident that occurred at an elderly couples’ home in Swakopmund, which left Roswitha Strzelecki dead and her husband Siegfried Strzelecki (82) seriously injured. 

Siegfried succumbed to injuries eight days later in a frail care home. It is alleged the group broke into the house using a duplicate key. Siegfried identified Stefanus as having renovated the couple’s house, while Shidute reportedly wore a balaclava during the robbery and home invasion. 

At the time, police reports indicated the elderly woman was grabbed around the neck and her head was slammed against a wall, after which she was strangled to death. 

Siegfried, who was in the other room, heard the commotion and while investigating, the accused threatened him with knives and demanded money. 

The suspects could not access the content of the couple’s safe and only managed to take a cell phone, valued at N$8 000, cash of N$1 000, remote control of the house, as well as sandals belonging to one of the deceased.  

The couple had replaced the locks of the safe after the key went missing. It turned out their attackers tried to use the lost key to open the safe. 

It is alleged that Lazarus, who was previously employed at the Strzelecki, may have made a duplicate of the house key and stolen the safe key, and given them to Stefanus and Shidute to commit the crime. 

After the attack, the group fled the scene. 

Although Shidute and Stefanus denied the allegations, Shidute in a witness statement that he gave to the police in August 2017, implicated himself and his co-accused. 

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2021-11-16  Maria Amakali

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