Although taking a no guilty plea, refugees commissioner Likius Valombola admitted to firing the shot that could have possibly caused the death of former student leader Helao Ndjaba in 2018.
Valombola (53), made the admission in the Windhoek High Court yesterday at the start of his trial before Judge Claudia Claasen.
In a plea explanation, which was read into the record by his defence lawyer Sisa Namandje, Valombola admitted that he fired two warning shots on the night of 18 May 2018 while seated in his car. “In view of the aforesaid, I admit that there is a possibility that the deceased may have been accidentally and tragically hit by a bullet from the warning shots I fired,” said Valombola.
He, however, denied he had any intention of shooting and killing the 25-year-old victim.
Thus, it is on the State to prove that element.
Valombola explained that on the night in question, he was in the car with his wife and son who was the driver of the vehicle.
They were allegedly driving on King Kauluma Street, Oshitenda, Ombili in Windhoek when they came across a stationary vehicle obstructing traffic. His son allegedly left the vehicle in an attempt to get the owners of the car to move their vehicle in order to give them right of way.
However, an exchange of unpleasant words occurred and he allegedly got out of the car to convey the same message to the group.
After he and the son got back into the car, three men followed them and started aggressively and violently banging on the vehicle.
Valombola stated that at the time of firing the shots, he felt his life was in danger as he had the assumption that the car in the road was a deliberate attempt to attack him and his family.
After the shooting, Valombola left the scene.
“I did not realise that there was any person shot by me or by any other person,” explained Valombola. The prosecution is charged Valombola with a count of murder and that of discharging a firearm in a public space.
The State is alleging that Valombola shot Ndjaba who was a bystander.
Ndjaba was shot in the head while he was allegedly waiting to get a taxi by the side of the road in Oshitenda.
He died nine days later after being in the Katutura hospital’s intensive care unit fighting for his life.
Valombola’s case attracted public attention, following his release from police custody before his mandatory first appearance in court.
Namibian Police Chief Inspector from the Serious Crime Unit, Rector Sandema who took the witness stand during the bail hearing, informed the court that there were irregularities and necessary procedures were not followed when he was released from lawful custody in May 2018.
Valombola later handed himself over to the police in Opuwo. – firstname.lastname@example.org