Nicodemus still to undergo mental check-up

08 Apr 2016 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 08 APR (NAMPA) - A Windhoek resident accused of murdering two women and burning their bodies in the capital at the beginning of January this year, has not yet been admitted for a mental fitness observation.
The prosecuting authority (Prosecutor-General’s office) has not yet secured a bed at the Windhoek Central Hospital's psychiatric unit for the mental examination of alleged double murder, Lukas Nepela Nicodemus.
This came to light on Friday morning when Nicodemus made another appearance before Windhoek Magistrate Ilge Rheent when he was informed that his case will be remanded until 06 May this year in order to enable the prosecuting authority to secure a bed at the Windhoek Central Hospital psychiatric unit.
He is scheduled to undergo a 30-day mental fitness observation at the psychiatric section in order to establish his state of mental capability prior, during and after the commission of the brutal crime in which two young women lost their lives.
Nicodemus allegedly shot and killed Clemencia de Wee, 23, and Joanny Naruses, 29, and then set alight their bodies at the Pionierspark dumping site between 06 and 08 January this year.
He is facing two counts of murder and one count of obstructing the course of justice.
On 09 March, Magistrate Rheent ordered the mental check-up following a formal request by the accused person's Government-sponsored defence lawyer Milton Engelbrecht.
“I received the instructions to defend the accused from the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid on 28 January 2016. Subsequent to that, I have consulted with the accused person on three occasions.
“My application this morning is in respect of Section 77 (1) of the Namibian Criminal Procedures Act for the referral of the accused person for mental observation,” Engelbrecht told the magistrate at the time.
The lawyer said the application for the referral of his client for mental observation is based on the fact that during the consultations, he could not get a proper defence for them to raise.
The State, led by Public Prosecutor Ivann Tjizu, did not raise objections to the application for mental observation.
The two deceased women were positively identified by family members shortly after their burned bodies were discovered.
On 11 January this year during his brief appearance, Nicodemus indicated to the court that he cannot afford a private lawyer and would thus approach the Legal Aid Board to appoint a legal representative on his behalf.
Asked how he would plead when his trial starts, he said: “I don't know, I don't know what happened”.
He was denied bail and remanded in custody to allow for investigations to be completed.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson, Inspector Slogan Matheus informed a media briefing on 10 January this year it is believed that more than one person was involved in the alleged murder of the two women.
Nicodemus was arrested on 07 January 2016, while another person of interest was questioned by police on 08 January 2016 and released later that day.
He remains in police custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility with no option to post bail, but was informed to bring a formal bail application before court if he wants to be released on bail.