Several murder trials could not proceed yesterday after a case of possible Covid-19 infestation was suspected at the section for trial-awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.
While information is sketchy at the moment as relevant authorities are said to have been in meetings the whole day yesterday, at least three murder trials were put on hold as the accused were not allowed to leave the facility.
According to information obtained, all the inmates at the section were placed in self-isolation for 14 days.
The long running matter of Stockley Kauejao, which has been coming on since 2015 is one of the cases.
The matter was to return to court yesterday after a hiatus of more than a year but was abruptly stopped in its tracks.
Kauejao (44), Matheu Kakururume (33), Muvare Kaporo (29) and Afas Kamutjemo (42) are accused of killing renowned stock theft investigator, Hiambepo ‘Major’ Kazeurua.
They denied all the charges against them in the Windhoek High Court when their trial began before then Judge Alfred Siboleka.
The accused are charged with counts of murder, stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
Another case that was affected is that of Romeo Pienaar whose case was postponed to 2 November.
He is on trial for allegedly killing his girlfriend and mother of his then two-year old son by stabbing her once on the chest with a 22cm blade knife.
He too pleaded not guilty when his trial started before Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg.
Pienaar is charged with one count of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act for stabbing Magde Christina Cloete to death, one count of assault by threat for threatening to kill Hilaria Amukoto and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice for hiding or destroying the knife used to kill the deceased.
He is representing himself after all of his Legal Aid funded lawyers either withdrew because of untenable instructions or was fired by him.
The trial of Phillipus Hafeni Haihambo (55), who allegedly fatally slit the throat of his live-in girlfriend with a kitchen knife is another one affected by the pause.
He too pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and assault read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act before High Court acting Judge Orben Sibeya.
Another matter that could not continue due to the absence of the accused is that of 79-year-old Theuns Kaneb from Gobabis who allegedly killed his live-in girlfriend, Nora Tsuses, with a knobkierie and panga during the period 9 to 10 March 2018 at the residence they shared in Kanaan location in Gobabis.
He pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act in the Windhoek High Court before acting Judge Petrus Unengu.
The judge postponed the matter to 1 October after he was informed that Kaneb is set to self-isolate for 14 days.