Judge Liebenberg recuses himself from Kazeurua murder trial

29 Oct 2014 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 29 OCT (NAMPA) – High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg, who was to preside over the trial of four men arrested for the alleged murder of Hiambepo ‘Major’ Kazeurua, has recused himself from the case.
Kazeurua was a prominent member of the Aminuis Community Policing's Anti-Stock Theft Unit.
The Judge recused himself from the alleged murder case on Wednesday morning, shortly after he handed down a ruling in the failed bail application by the key suspect in the matter, 39-year-old Stockley 'Mbaruu' Kauejao.
During the hearing of the failed bail application, the Judge heard evidence by a number of State witnesses which will also be used by the prosecution in the main trial, and for these reasons he decided to recuse himself from the matter.
The case was then on Wednesday placed back on the roll of the High Court's pre-trial conference of case management for the allocation of another Judge on 20 November this year.
Kauejao is charged alongside co-accused persons Muvare Kaporo, 24; Mathew Kakurarume, 28; and the 30-year-old Aphas Kamutjemo.
The four men were arrested by members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)'s Serious Crime Unit between January and March last year.
Kauejao, Kaporo and Kakurarume were again remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells with no option to post bail, while Kamutjemo is free on bail of N.dollars 10 000.
Earlier reports carried by local English daily the New Era had it that accused Kakurarume was employed on the farm where 15 heads of cattle went missing.
All of the 15 heads of cattle which were reported missing by the owner - Hadley Mwashekeleh - who conducts his farming at Farm Rembrandt in the Shaka area of the Omaheke Region’s Kalahari Constituency, were recovered by the police and returned to him.
Kazeurua’s partly burned body was found buried in an aardvark burrow on 07 January 2013 after he was reported missing some days earlier.
He was on the trail of the stolen cattle when he was murdered.
Kazeurua was widely revered for his thorough investigations and interrogation skills into stock theft cases, and has over the years succeeded in bringing many cattle rustlers to book.
Sources close to his family believed that he might have been on the edge of a breakthrough in the stock theft case he was investigating, which could have led to the suspected cattle rustlers turning on him.
Windhoek-based defence lawyers Monty Karuaihe, Brownell Uirab, Attorney Jan Wessels and Slysken Makando are representing the four accused persons, acting on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef is appearing for the State.