Jailed Tjappa wants to appeal 60-year-prison term

22 Sep 2014 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 22 SEP (NAMPA) – A man sentenced to 60 years imprisonment for taking part in an armed robbery at the Woermann Brock shopping centre in Khomasdal during 2008, wants to appeal his heavy punishment.
John Matheus Frans Tjappa, 56, was sent to jail by High Court judge Nate Ndauendapo on 16 August last year after he was earlier found guilty on a count of robbery with aggravating circumstances; three counts of attempted murder; one count of the negligent handling of a firearm in a public place; the illegal possession of a firearm; as well as the illegal possession of ammunition.
On Monday this week, he returned to the Windhoek High Court with an urgent application, asking the court to be allowed leave to appeal his long prison term.
In the application, the convict said there was some misdirection by the court in the judgement and at the time of sentencing.
He said the Windhoek Supreme Court may come to a different conclusion once he is allowed leave to appeal in that court.
In his submissions before court, Tjappa's defence lawyer Mbushandje Nhinda said his client wants another court to relook the totality of the evidence presented by some of the State witnesses during the trial.
Meanwhile, the prosecution, led by State Advocate Palmer Khumalo, said Tjappa's application does not meet the standard requirements for him to be allowed leave to appeal his conviction and sentence.
“There are no grounds for challenging the evidence of the State witnesses. This application does not meet the standard requirements for the appellant to be allowed leave to appeal,” he stated.
A ruling on the application will be handed down on 04 November 2014 at 09h00.
Tjappa was handed 30 years’ imprisonment on the first count of robbery with aggravating circumstances; 10 years’ imprisonment on each of the three counts of attempted murder; and one year imprisonment on each of the three counts of the negligent handling of a firearm in a public place, illegal possession of a firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition.
The sentences of one year imposed on each of the last three counts were ordered to run concurrently with the sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment imposed on the first count of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Tjappa landed in the dock alone in the Windhoek High Court after his arrest on 11 October 2008 when that supermarket was robbed a few minutes before 19h00.
On that day, a group of armed men, including Tjappa, entered the shop and ordered all customers and personnel who were still there to lie down on the floor.
The men allegedly instructed the personnel to hand over the cash from the tills and safe, while they also assaulted the occupants of the shop.
The robbers then fled with at least two bags of money and money stuffed in their clothes, the court heard during the trial.
In an attempt to escape from the Namibian Police and members of the public who attempted to apprehend him, Tjappa fired numerous shots at them with a .22 revolver, for which he did not have a licence.
He was arrested by the police while hiding in a nearby stormwater pipe.
It also came to light during the trial that Tjappa has a record of previous criminal convictions, stretching back all the way to July 1975.
His latest conviction was his 10th, the court heard.
Nhinda was acting on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
(NAMPA)
SKE/ND/TK