Trio in tour guide murder case in bail bid

24 Sep 2015 13:40pm
KATIMA MULILO, 24 SEP (NAMPA) - The three men accused of the murder of a tour guide in the Zambezi Region in July 2015, have brought a formal bail application before the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court.
The three men - Walter Lwendo Lupalezwi, 34; Ndozi Ndozi, 21; and Harris Sijiwa, 29 – all stand accused of attacking and killing Andre Christian Meier, whom they also robbed of cash and personal items such as laptops and cell phones.
On Tuesday, the three accused facing charges of murder, two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, indecent exposure, and kidnapping, brought a joint bail application before Magistrate Karl Muyeghu.
During the hearing, the accused stated that they wish to be released from police custody as they are the breadwinners of their families, and that their continued stay in police custody is making them depressed.
“I told the police officers I do not eat meat but this was ignored. I am now suffering ill-health because am forced to eat food I am not supposed to be consuming. Prison life is not good, as the cells we sleep in are dirty and unhygienic,” one of the accused, Lupalezwi said while addressing the court.
However, this was disputed by warrant officers, who testified on behalf of the State that information of the accused men’s alleged poor diet was not relayed to police officers at Kongola Police Station, where the three accused are withheld.
The State has thus stuck to its guns by opposing bail for the three accused, based on the amount of public interest of the case has generated, the seriousness of the matter, fear of the three men absconding, and that releasing the trio will not be in the interest of the administration of justice.
The State is further opposing bail as the fourth suspect linked to the matter is still on the run with his wife. He is believed to be in hiding in neighbouring Zambia.
In July, Nampa reported that the men attacked and kidnapped Meier, who had been camping in the bush with his Swiss national girlfriend at Lianshulu, when they were pounced on by Lupalezwi and Ndozi between 01h30 and 02h00.
The couple were apparently asleep when two men wearing balaclavas and armed with knives tore open the tent they were sleeping in and kidnapped them. They took them into the thick bushes, where they robbed them of N.dollars 13 000, 300 pula, 200 rands, two iPhones, a laptop, a camera and other items.
When the men attempted to rape Meier’s girlfriend, he came to her defence but was stabbed five times in the stomach, chest and back, before the robbers fled the scene.
The woman only managed to find help after 06h00, when she walked into a camp of the Namibian Special Field Force in the area.
The bail application hearing continues today, with the investigating officers still being cross-examined by the Legal Aid appointed representatives of the three accused.