Absent lawyer forces postponement of discharge application

28 Aug 2015 08:40am
WINDHOEK, 28 AUG (NAMPA) - The unavailability of a State-funded defence lawyer on Thursday prompted the postponement of the case of a man accused of committing serious crimes in Windhoek between November 2009 and April 2010.
Pinias Kashawa, 35, is on trial in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Alfred Siboleka on three counts of housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery; one count of housebreaking with intent to steal and theft; two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm; two counts of assault by threat; five counts of rape; one count of attempted rape and two counts of attempted murder, alternatively negligent discharging of a firearm or negligent handling of a firearm while in a public place.
In addition to these charges, he also faces three counts of pointing a firearm and one count each of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence.
Meanwhile, Kashawa's State-sponsored defence lawyer Ndapewa-Omagano Frieda Shipopyeni did not show up on Thursday for the ruling of her client's application for discharge which the accused brought before court at the closing of the prosecution's case.
Efforts by State Advocate Palmer Khumalo and court officials to trace Shipopyeni on her mobile phone proved as her phone went to voice-mail. Her absence forced Judge Siboleka to postpone the ruling on the accused's application for discharge to Monday.
“The judges are always ready before courts, but the defence lawyers are always not present in court for their cases and clients. The cases are also piling up on the judges' desks due to the unavailability of the defence lawyers. This is not good for the administration of justice,” said Judge Siboleka as he remanded the case until Monday for the handing down of the verdict on Kashawa's application for discharge.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of the trial in 2014.
Kashawa, armed with a pistol, broke into a house at Okuryangava, approached three women in the house and threatened to shoot and kill them on 25 November 2009.
He allegedly demanded money from them and robbed them of N.dollars 45 and two mobile phones.
He then allegedly proceeded to rape one of the victims twice after tying her up with a rope and hitting her in the stomach.
After he sexually violated his first victim he went to another part of the house, but returned and attempted to rape the same woman again.
An alarm clock however went off and he fled from the house after he assaulted another victim using his finger.
Not satisfied, Kashawa went back to the same house on 17 April 2010.
He did this shortly after he earlier broke into another house in One Nation Location in Windhoek on 12 April 2010, where he amongst others stole a pistol, a magazine with eight rounds, a Nokia cellphone, a pair of jeans, one wallet and a Namibian identity document (ID).
Armed with the pistol, Kashawa again went back to the house in Okuryangava where he gained entry by forcing open a door and went to where another of the complainants was sleeping and threatened her with the newly acquired firearm.
He allegedly removed her clothing and had sexual intercourse with her without her consent, whereafter he demanded money from her.
He allegedly also searched the victim's room, but when he could not find anything he wanted he proceeded to the room in which the woman he raped in November 2009 was sleeping and tried to tie her up with a rope. When she resisted he allegedly assaulted her.
Kashawa threatened to shoot the victim and she handed him a cellphone, a cellphone charger, a necklace and a 10-year NamPol service medal before running away.
He then allegedly went to another house in Okuryangava where he forced open a door, threatened a woman and demanded money from her.
This victim handed Kashawa N.dollars 500 and a cash box upon threats with the firearm. After he left the house of his latest victim he allegedly encountered Poniso Shiyukwa, who was standing outside his house.
He then fired a shot at Shiyukwa intending to kill him and a police officer who was summoned to the scene, Fredinard Nghiliganye, heard the shot and went in that direction.
It is further alleged that he shot at the police officer who returned fire and wounded Kashawa who fell to the ground upon which he was arrested and a bolt cutter, the 7.65-millimetre pistol and a cash box were found next to him.
Kashawa remains in police custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility with no option to post bail until his next court appearance on Monday.