Discharge attempt by truck driver facing murder charge fails

21 Aug 2018 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 AUG (NAMPA) – A South African truck driver on trial in the High Court for allegedly raping and murdering a 56-year-old woman here in 2014, on Tuesday suffered a blow when the court dismissed his application for discharge.
Willem Wimpie Februarie, 38, allegedly raped and murdered Windhoek resident, Dinah Diedericks at her home in Windhoek West on 21 June 2014.
The application for discharge was dismissed in a ruling handed down by High Court Judge Naomi Shivute, and the alleged killer will now be placed on his defence as he has a case to answer before court.
According to Judge Shivute, a number of State witnesses have placed the accused in the area where the murder took place when they presented undisputed prima facie evidence during the hearing of the discharge application that showed he was the last person seen in the company of the deceased on that day.
Februarie wanted the court to release him, claiming the prosecution did not provide prima facie evidence linking him to the alleged rape and killing.
Februarie, through his State-funded defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji, brought the failed application for discharge on 17 July 2018 at the closing of the prosecution’s case and in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedures Act of 1977 in which he asked the court to set him free.
“There is no prima facie evidence presented before court showing that the accused was the actual person who committed the offences. The majority of the State witnesses were also not credible witnesses and misled the court with contradictory testimonies,” Siyomuinji said at the time of the discharge bid.
State Advocate Salomon Kanyemba strongly opposed the application and asked the court not to entertain the request because the accused was allegedly the last person seen in Diedericks’s company.
Februarie denied committing the offence when he entered a not guilty plea to the charges of rape, murder and crimen injuria at the start of his trial on 05 April 2018.
The accused was arrested the day after Diedericks was found dead outside her home.
According to the police, she was killed by way of manual strangulation shortly after she was allegedly sexually violated.
Mobile telephone records also indicate that he was in the vicinity of Windhoek West from about 20h00 to 23h00 on the evening of 21 June 2014, when Diedericks was killed.
He remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until 20 February 2019 for the continuation of the trial.