Ruling on bail hearing for five accused in rhino poaching set for Wednesday

22 Jun 2019 15:20pm
OUTJO, 22 JUN (NAMPA) - A ruling on the bail hearing of the five men accused of allegedly poaching a black male rhino on a private game reserve farm, situated outside Outjo will be announced on Wednesday.
The accused Simon Petrus Mbanzi, 37, Immanuel Haingura, 42, Christopher Kanonga, 37, Joseph Kativa Ndumba, 44, and the 28-year-old Abel Dumeni appeared on Friday before Magistrate, Peingondjabi Shipo at the Outjo Magistrate’s Court who postponed the ruling.
They each face a charge of illegal hunting of special protected game species.
The five men were all arrested on 29 May 2019 in the Kehemu informal settlement at Rundu in the Kavango East Region and the case was transferred to the Outjo Magistrate’s Court where the alleged poaching took place.
The poached male black rhino is valued at about N. dollars 500 000.
Mbanzi, Haingura, Kanonga, Ndumba and Dumeni were defended in court by two private lawyers, Trevor Brockerhoff and Tjitja Harases.
The State was represented by Public Prosecutor Johannes Kalipi who strongly opposed any granting of bail as the state has strong evidence in the case against them and because police investigations are at an early stage.
He also informed the court that bail should not be granted as five more statements from State witnesses are still pending.
“It will not be in the public interest and administration of justice if they are to be released on bail,” he said, adding that the accused might interfere in police investigations once released on bail.
However, the two lawyers of the accused, Brockerhoff and Harases dismissed Kalipi’s grounds and pleaded with the court to release their clients on bail since they allegedly have small children to care for.
They were all remanded in custody.