Suspected separatists to get trial date in April 2017

18 Jan 2017 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 JAN (NAMPA) – The date for the start of the trial of seven men facing charges of high treason in respect of the failed August 1999 attempt to secede the Caprivi Region from the rest of Namibia, will be set mid-April this year.
The date will be decided by the defence representative and prosecution team on 18 April 2017 in the High Court.
This will be done as per agreement reached by State Advocate Constance Moyo and the government-sponsored defence lawyer of the seven accused, Ilse Aggenbach, in court on Wednesday.
Moyo was standing in for fellow prosecutor, Advocate Neville Wamambo who is officially assigned to handle the prosecution's case.
The suspects are Progress Kenyoka Munuma; Manuel Manepelo Makendano; Shine Samulandela Samulandela; Alex Sinjabata Mushakwa; Diamond Samunzala Salufu; Hoster Simasiku Ntombo; and John Mazila Ntambwe.
They are all implicated in a failed attempt to secede what was then the Caprivi Region (now Zambezi) from the rest of Namibia on 02 August 1999.
The seven men suffered a legal blow on 22 August 2016 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 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.
However, an appeal application by appellant Boster Mubuyaeta Samuele was successful and he was set free that day.
On 20 July 2015, the Supreme Court granted the eight leave to appeal the dismissal of their application challenging the High Court's jurisdiction to try them on high treason charges, shortly after the group sent a successful petition to the Supreme Court.
The seven men remain in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until their next court appearance in April.