06 Sep 2016 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 06 SEP (NAMPA) - The Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid will soon appoint another State-funded defence lawyer to represent seven men in the High Court on charges of high treason.
The men are Progress Munuma, 46; Manuel Makendano, 55; Shine Samulandela, 41; Alex Mushakwa, 45; Diamond Salufu, 57; Hoster Ntombo, 44; and the 40-year-old John Ntambwe.
The group lost legal representation on 31 August 2016 after local human rights defence lawyer Norman Tjombe withdrew from the case.
Tjombe tendered his withdrawal before High Court Judge Shafimana Ueitele citing other official court commitments.
The seven made another appearance before Acting High Court Judge Petrus Unengu on Tuesday and informed the court that officials from the Directorate of Legal Aid visited them last week at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility and told them that another Government-sponsored defence lawyer will soon be appointed for them.
Their case was then remanded until 27 October 2016 in order to allow the Directorate of Legal Aid to formally appoint and instruct a new defence lawyer.
On the same day a date for the start of the trial will be decided upon between the accused's new defence lawyer and the prosecution representative, State Advocate Neville Wamambo.
The men are implicated in a failed attempt to secede the then Caprivi Region (now Zambezi Region) from the rest of Namibia on 02 August 1999.
On 22 August 2016, the accused also suffered a legal blow when the Supreme Court dismissed their applications in which they were appealing the dismissal of their joint application challenging the Windhoek High Court's jurisdiction to try them on high treason charges.
Their individual appeal applications were dismissed by Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb, with Chief Justice Peter Shivute, Judges of Appeals Fred Chomba and David Smuts as well as Acting Judge of Appeals Yvonne Mokgoro concurring with the ruling.
An appeal application by appellant Boster Mubuyaeta Samuele was successful and he was set free on 22 August 2016.
The seven remain in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until their next court appearance on 27 October 2016.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Ed Marondezde was standing in for Advocate Wamambo who was not present in court on Tuesday due to similar official duties.