South African rape and murder accused loses lawyer

19 Aug 2016 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 19 AUG (NAMPA) - A South African national accused of raping and murdering a 56-year-old woman in Windhoek in June 2014, has been left without legal representation following the withdrawal of his State-funded defence lawyer.
Court papers availed to Nampa on Friday indicate that the 36-year-old Wilhelm Wimpie Derick Februarie's State-sponsored defence lawyer George Neves informed the court he was withdrawing from the case.
The withdrawal was made on Thursday when Februarie appeared before High court Judge Naomi Shivute during a pre-trial conference of case management review.
The defence lawyer told the court that he decided to withdraw from representing the South African national because he is experiencing some difficulties with the arrangements set up by the prison officials at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility during consultations with his client.
“I am withdrawing from the matter because I cannot properly consult with my client in respect of the arrangements set up at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility. I will inform the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid about my withdrawal in order for them to appoint another lawyer to come and represent the accused person,” said Neves as he asked Judge Shivute for withdrawal from the matter.
The court allowed the defence lawyer to withdraw from the case as per his own request.
The case was, thereafter, remanded until 15 September 2016 for the next pre-trial conference of case management review when the accused will be informed about his new government-funded defence lawyer.
The State alleges that the South African national raped and murdered Windhoek resident, Dinah Diedericks, at her home in Windhoek West on the evening of 21 June 2014.
Februarie was arrested by members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) a day after Diedericks was found dead outside her home.
According to the police, Diedericks was killed by way of strangulation.
It is further that reported Februarie was the last person seen with the late Diedericks, while mobile telephone records indicate that Februarie was also in the vicinity of Windhoek West from about 20h00 to 23h00 on the evening of 21 June 2014, when Diedericks was killed.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef is appearing for the prosecution.
Februarie remains in police custody since his arrest with no option to post bail until his next court appearance in the High Court on 15 September 2016.