No leave to appeal granted in Swiegers murder case

13 Feb 2014 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 13 FEB (NAMPA) -Three men sentenced to a combined 105 years’ imprisonment in December 2012 were on Thursday dealt a heavy blow when the High Court refused to grant them leave to appeal their long prison terms.
Max Kleophas, 34, Festus Nepembe Kiimba, 31, and the 35-year-old Josef Taukondjo Shikongo were each sentenced to an effective total of 35 years by High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on 12 December 2012.
They were found guilty of the brutal murder of Windhoek resident Cornelius Swiegers at Goreangab Dam in 2007.
The High Court refused to grant them leave to appeal their long custodial terms in a ruling handed down by High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka here on Thursday morning.
On 24 January this year, the three returned to the Windhoek High Court armed with a joint application in which they asked the court to allow them leave to appeal their prison terms.
In the failed application, they claimed that justice was not done during their trial, and said they feel that another court may come up with a different verdict should they be allowed leave to appeal their sentences.
“After having perused the evidence presented by the three men and the prosecution, I came to the conclusion that no other court may come up with a different judgment in this case. In the result, the joint application to be granted leave to appeal their long prison terms is dismissed,” said Judge Siboleka.
Meanwhile, the three men today indicated that they will now approach the Supreme Court with a similar urgent joint application in the next few days in an attempt to be granted leave to appeal.
In her response to the appellants' request on 24 January 2014, State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu also asked the court to dismiss their joint application, saying “no other court can come up with a different judgment in this case”.
Their sentences each comprise 25 years for murder, and 10 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.
A summary of evidence presented by the State during trial had it that on the night of 18 January 2007, the late Cornelius Swiegers (Kerneels), Georgevis Pierre Isaack and his two daughters drove to the mountain at Goreangab Dam on the western outskirts of Windhoek to take pictures of a passing comet.
They had taken along sausages, brötchens and camping chairs and had made a small fire when Kleophas, Kiimba and Shikongo walked past and greeted them - pretending to be ordinary passersby.
Shortly afterwards, the men returned and launched a violent attack on Swiegers and his friends.
Kiimba shot Swiegers dead.
The bullet went through the deceased’s chest and exited his back, and in the process struck Shikongo in the lower abdomen.
The deceased’s pockets were emptied and the other victims were also robbed.
The boerewors, brötchens and other items were taken from the victim’s pick-up.
“It is my considered view that an appropriate punishment in murder and robbery must emphasise the factors of deterrence, prevention and correction,” Siboleka said when he handed down the sentences.
“This court repeatedly stated that those who take it upon themselves - going around disrupting and ending other people’s lives - would without fail be made to feel the wrath of the law,” he added.