Rhino horn accused persons refused bail

22 Jun 2016 17:00pm
OPUWO, 22 JUN (NAMPA) – Two of the three men alleged to have been in possession of rhino horns during May this year were last Wednesday denied bail in the Opuwo Magistrate Court.
First accused Festus Mazuva, 40, and Tuakutuakumue Mupia, 30 appeared before Magistrate Lazarus Amutse.
State Prosecutor Aubrey Ndlovu told Nampa on Wednesday that the third accused, Eben Levi, 27 did not appear as he is conducting self-defence.
Ndlozu told the court that it would not be in the interest of justice and that of the public to grant bail.
“The two accused are not suitable candidates for bail as investigations are still incomplete and it is not known when it will be completed,” Ndlovu told the court.
The state fears that the accused will interfere with investigations.
The prosecutor also argued that Mazuva is in possession of his traveling documents and his wife has connections outside the country, which could make him abscond.
According to Ndlovu, Mupia has a pending case in the Okahao Magistrate Court, which is an indication that he has the propensity of committing crimes and tempering with evidence and investigations is a possibility.
According to the charge sheet, the accused persons were arrested at Verda Gate on 15 May.
The State argues that the defence council failed to prove in court that it will be in the interest of justice to release the accused persons on bail.
Melvin Nyambe of Shikongo Law Chambers, who represented the first accused, told the court that it was not for them to prove in that regard but for the accused persons themselves to do so.
Charmain Tjihero of Wedder, Kauta and Hoveka was representing the second accused.
The case has been postponed to 31 June for further investigation.