20 Feb 2014 14:10pm
WINDHOEK, 20 FEB (NAMPA) - A man who allegedly shot and killed his prison warden girlfriend in the capital in September 2011, will be informed of the date of his trial next month.
Gerhard Komeya, 43, who stands accused of shooting and killing his then 42-year-old girlfriend Kertu Maria Sheehama at the Hakahana settlement in the capital, made another appearance before High Court Judge-President Petrus Damaseb on Thursday morning.
His case was finally remanded until 20 March this year for the fixing of the trial date.
Komeya, a former police officer, allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend with a hunting rifle.
The murder incident allegedly came about as the late Sheehama was scheduled to be transferred from Windhoek to Swakopmund as part of her promotion to a higher post.
Jealousy is also said to have played a part in the tragedy.
The Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid has now appointed Windhoek-based defence lawyer Monty Karuaihe to represent Komeya at the trial.
This was done following the withdrawal of the first State-appointed defence lawyer, Mese Tjituri, from the case on 15 July last year after the two men could not reach an amicable agreement on how to proceed with the trial.
Tjituri withdrew from the case as the trial was about to start before High Court judge Nate Ndauendapo.
In the matter, family members and relatives had earlier claimed that the relationship between Komeya and his deceased girlfriend was characterised by violence and abuse over the years.
During his previous appearances in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in Katutura at the end of 2011 and earlier in 2012, a group of women and children marched to that court and handed over a petition, demanding that he should be denied bail.
In the petition, the demonstrators said the late Sheehama was killed in a horrible, wild, barbaric and cold-blooded manner in front of her two minor children.
Komeya, who was arrested by the police at their house in the Hakahana area of Katutura shortly after the alleged murder incident, has been in police custody since his arrest with no option to post bail.
He was refused bail on 18 May 2012 when he brought a formal bail application before Windhoek magistrate Kauli Nghishitende.
During the bail hearing, a prosecution team led by Public Prosecutor George Mahoney opposed the granting of bail, citing the seriousness of the offence.
Komeya brought the formal bail application through his own privately-instructed defence lawyer Thomas Nekongo of the local law firm Sisa Namandje and Partners at the time, before he acquired a State-sponsored lawyer.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef is representing the State in the matter.