Ruling in treason special plea set for Tuesday

09 Apr 2018 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 09 APR (NAMPA) – A ruling in the hearing of a special plea in which seven men are challenging the jurisdiction of Namibia’s High Court to try them on charges of high treason, is expected to be made public on Tuesday.
Acting High Court Judge Petrus Unengu is expected to hand down the verdict in the matter at the High Court building at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.
On 01 March 2018, Judge Unengu reserved the ruling until 09 April 2018, shortly after he listened to final arguments by the accused’s defence lawyer Ilse Agenbach and prosecution representative, Deputy Prosecutor-General Lourens Campher.
The hearing is based on a legal point in which the group claims they are Caprivians and not Namibians and for this reason, Namibia’s High Court has no legal power to try them for high treason.
The seven men face charges of high treason for their alleged involvement in a failed attempt to secede the then Caprivi (now Zambezi) Region from the rest of Namibia on 02 August 1999.
They are Progress Munuma; Manuel Makendano; Shine Samulandela; Alex Mushakwa; Diamond Salufu; Hoster Ntombo and John Ntambwe.
On 22 August 2016, they suffered a legal blow when the Supreme Court dismissed their applications in which they appealed the dismissal of their first joint application, challenging the Windhoek High Court’s jurisdiction to try them on high treason.
Their appeal applications were dismissed by Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb with Chief Justice Peter Shivute, Judges of Appeal Fred Chomba and Dave 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 at the time and he was set free in 2016.
The seven remain in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, pending the handing down of the ruling on Tuesday.