Suspects in alleged taxi killing to hear fate next week

03 Jul 2013 07:20
WINDHOEK, 03 JUL (NAMPA) - Three men who stand accused of killing a local taxi driver at the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in the capital in April 2010, will hear their fate on Thursday next week when the High Court delivers judgement in the alleged murder case.
The three accused persons - Jackie Jackson, 22, Kaveto Pontianus Kwandu, 29, and 39-year-old Isaskar Nau-Gaweseb - made another appearance before High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on Wednesday morning when they were informed that a judgement in their case will be handed down on Thursday next week at 09h00.
?Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was not able to finish the judgement of this case on time. The judgement is not yet ready. The judgement in this case will only be ready on 11 July 2013,? explained High Court Judge Shivute as she asked for a postponement to next Thursday.
The three accused each face a charge of murder, robbery and defeating or obstructing the course of justice, following the death of Windhoek-based taxi driver Alfons Rijatua, 42, who was killed by a single shotgun blast at close range in the chest during the night of 18 April 2010.
During the submissions of the evidence for judgement in April this year, State-appointed defence lawyers - Trevor von Brockerhoff and Brownell Uirab for accused Jackson and Nau-Gaweseb, respectively - blamed the senseless killing of the taxi driver squarely on accused number two, Kwandu.
Earlier reports carried by the 'New Era' daily newspaper had it that accused Kwandu?s defence lawyer Mese Tjituri has not taken any of it lying down and wanted to know what, if anything, Kwandu gained from the alleged killing and robbery.
?The only count my client could be convicted of is the charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice for the entries he made into the occurrence book at the stadium that fateful day,? Tjituri indicated to presiding Judge Shivute.
Tjituri further argued that the State (prosecution) has done nothing to implicate his client except for alleging that Kwandu acted in common purpose with his two co-accused.
The defence lawyer further said the State has done nothing to prove that Kwandu associated himself with Jackson and Nau-Gaweseb.
Von Brockerhoff, on the other hand, had no qualms in directing the murder in Kwandu's direction.
He maintained that his client - Jackson - was consistent in his testimonies about the happenings of that night.
Von Brockerhoff also stressed the fact that the only person who identified Jackson as the person who went to fetch the shotgun was a ?half-awake? guard who did not even wake up when the fatal shot was fired.
He too asked the court to acquit his client on all charges, and further informed the court that there is no evidence before the court showing that his client was near the shooting incident.
Nau-Gaweseb?s defence lawyer, Brownell Uirab, was equally adamant that it was Kwandu who pulled the trigger which resulted in the death of the late taxi driver.
According to Uirab, it was Kwandu who allegedly shot the deceased person and that he did so independently on his own accord in the absence of his two co-accused persons.
Meanwhile, all three defence lawyers were in agreement that the charge of robbery was not proved by the State.
State representative, State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu asked the court to find all three accused persons guilty of the murder and robbery charges.
She told the court that all the accused persons acted in concert and with a common purpose when they decided to rob and murder their hapless victim.
Ndlovu also told the court that it was a pre-conceived plan by the three accused persons to lure the late taxi driver to the stadium and rob and/or kill him.
?All three accused persons were present at the shooting. The State proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused persons acted with a common purpose in killing and robbing the deceased as well as obstructing the course of justice and all should be found guilty as charged,? argued Ndlovu.