Bail judgement in Outjo rhino poaching case due Friday

15 Jul 2019 14:00pm
OUTJO, 15 JUL (NAMPA) – The Outjo Magistrate’s Court is expected to pass its ruling on Friday in the bail application of a 32-year-old man linked to the alleged poaching of rhino in December on a private game farm in the Outjo district.
George Morning Nanyeni and his co-accused, businessman Petrus Shihepo Shimuningeni, 35, and three others aged 25, 26, and 27, were arrested in February this year at different places in northern Namibia.
The five men in December last year allegedly killed a female white rhino valued at more than N.dollars 500 000, and an adult male black rhino valued at N.dollars 800 000 on the private game farm, located near the Etosha National Park.
Prosecutor Johannes Kalipi representing the State on Wednesday and Thursday last week told the court that the two rhino carcasses were found about to decompose at the game farm with their horns removed.
A hunting rifle, 17 live bullets and N.dollars 7 000 suspected to have been proceeds of the crime, were found during the police investigations of this case and confiscated.
Privately-hired defence lawyer for Nanyeni, Samson Enkali during the same bail hearing told the court that his client should be released on bail of N.dollars 5 000 with conditions attached, so that he continues in his family obligation as breadwinner to support his two young siblings and village house under his care in northern Namibia.
Kalipi strongly opposed the granting of bail to Nanyeni, saying the State has enough evidence pointing at him to have been a key member of a syndicate allegedly poaching rhino in the country.
He said if Nanyeni is granted bail, it is likely that he will commit the same crime again as there are already three similar pending cases to which the accused is linked.
“The State has a strong case against the accused, and as he might be aware of this and the punishment he faces, there is therefore a possibility of him absconding from attending court in the future,” Kalipi said.
The prosecutor furthermore argued it would not be in the public interest and that of the administration of justice for the accused to be given bail in a case of a prevalent crime - poaching specially protected game in the country.
Magistrate Immanuel Udjombala after listening to both Kalipi and Enkali then postponed the matter to 19 July 2019 for his ruling.
Nanyeni is remanded in police custody at Outjo where his four co-accused are also kept.