No leave to appeal for jailed taxi driver killers

17 Oct 2014 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 17 OCT (NAMPA) – Applications by three murderers to be allowed leave to appeal their long prison terms were dismissed by the High Court here on Friday.
Jackie Jackson, 22; Kaveto Pontianus Kwandu, 29; and 39-year-old Isaskar Nau-Gaweseb were sent to jail for long prison terms by Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on 17 October last year after she found them guilty of having killed local taxi driver Alfons Rijatua.
He died at the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in the capital on 18 April 2010.
Jackson and Kwandu were each sentenced to a total of 40 years’ imprisonment, while Nau-Gaweseb was sent to jail for a total of 42 years.
They then decided to bring urgent applications before the same judge, in which they asked the court to be allowed leave to appeal their long prison terms.
Shivute dismissed all this on Friday morning.
“The possibility that another court might come to a different conclusion in respect of the sentencing is not in itself sufficient to justify the granting of the applications for leave to appeal.
In this case, there are no prospects of a success of appeal in another court. In the result, the applications to be allowed leave to appeal are hereby dismissed,” said Shivute.
In their failed applications, the three said they feel there was some misdirection by the presiding judge in her verdict and at the time of sentencing.
They argued that the Supreme Court may come up with a different conviction and sentencing once they are allowed leave to appeal in that court.
The trio wanted another court to relook the totality of the evidence presented by some of the State witnesses, as well as the evidence of their confessions and other related self-incriminating statements which were ruled admissible before court, and which were later used against them during the trial.
Earlier, State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu indicated that the convicts’ applications did not meet the standards required for them to be allowed leave to appeal their conviction and long prison terms.
In the matter, the three were each found guilty on a charge of murder with the direct intention to kill, robbery with aggravating circumstances and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice following the death of Rijatua, 42, who was killed by a single shotgun blast at close range in the chest during the night of 18 April 2010.
Jackson and Kwandu were each sentenced to 28 years’ imprisonment on the first count of murder with direct intent to kill.
On this count, Nau-Gaweseb was sent to jail for 30 years.
On the count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, they were each sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, five years of which were ordered to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed on the murder count.
On the last count of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice, they were each sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
In the result, Jackson and Kwandu were each sent to jail for a total of 40 years, while Nau-Gaweseb got a total of 42 years.
In addition, the court ordered that the shotgun used in the murder incident be returned to its rightful owner, Augustinus Jackson.
In terms of Section 10 (6) (a) of the Criminal Procedures’ Act (Act Seven) of 1996, each of the three men were declared unfit to possess a firearm for a period of five years, effective from the date of their release from prison.
“They did not accept responsibility that they are the ones who caused the deceased person's death and robbed him of his motor-vehicle while they were armed with a deadly weapon.
The three men are dangerous elements who need to be removed from society for a long period of time,” said judge Shivute when she handed down the long prison terms.
State-appointed defence lawyers Trevor von Brockerhoff and Brownell Uirab appeared for Jackson and Nau-Gaweseb, respectively, during the trial and at the failed applications for leave to appeal.
Mese Tjituri represented Kwandu.
The three defence lawyers represented the convicted men on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
They are serving their jail terms at the Windhoek Central Prison.
(NAMPA)
SKE/AS/TK