City police murder case to High Court

October 24, 2014, 3:09pm
City police murder case to High Court

'Nomhle Kangootui'

THE three Windhoek City Police officers accused of murder after they severely assaulted a 17-year-old who later died of his injuries last year made their first pre-trial appearance in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.
Werner Johannes Shetekela (30), Kleopas Shikalepo Kapalanga (28) and Elia Nakale (33) are facing charges of murder, kidnapping and defeating or obstructing the course of justice or attempting to do so. 
The 17-year-old, Mandela Ramakhutla died on 24 April last year in the Katutura State Hospital as a result of an assault allegedly inflicted on him by the accused. 
According to the prosecution's indictment, at all relevant times the accused were on standby duty and acted with a common purpose.
“During the evening of Tuesday, 16 April 2013 the accused collected the deceased from a drinking place at the Single Quarters in Katutura on suspicion of having participated in a recent crime of theft of cellphone(s) and computer(s) from the City of Windhoek Head Office”.
The document further states that the accused loaded the deceased into a pick-up and handcuffed him. While driving around with the deceased in the absence and without the consent of his parent(s) or guardian, the accused interrogated the deceased regarding the theft case and the whereabouts of the stolen goods and an alleged accomplice to the theft.
“While the deceased was in their custody, the accused assaulted him with brute force and drove around with him”. During this time he allegedly lost consciousness for between two to four hours.
The accused later drove to the Windhoek Police Station and carried the unconscious and injured youngster into the station with an instruction to the police officials on duty to detain the youth on a charge of theft.
The accused told the police officers that the deceased was drunk and merely pretending to be ill or injured or unconscious. The police officers on duty did not however place the deceased in the holding cells but took him to hospital where he died a week later.
Meanwhile, Ramakhutla's father Thomas Shetekela said he is happy that the case reached the High Court.
“That is good news for us and it shows that the case is being treated with the seriousness it deserves. I mean who beats up a human being like that and dumps him like he was nothing. I really hope this will teach other police officers to treat people with dignity and respect,” Shetekela said.
The case has been postponed till 20 November 2014 and the trio was represented by Orben Sibeya on instructions of the City of Windhoek and appeared before Judge Christie Liebenberg. The accused are out of custody on bail.

The Namibian