Alleged City Centre shooter without legal representation

15 Aug 2019 12:40pm
WINDHOEK, 15 AUG (NAMPA) – A former Global Fund employee who allegedly shot dead a former colleague and wounded another in Windhoek in January this year, has no legal representation to defend him during the proceedings of his trial.
This came to light when the 33-year-old Simasiku Simataa Simasiku made his first appearance in the Windhoek High Court without legal representation during a pre-trial conference of case management on Thursday.
Simasiku informed presiding High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg that he has applied to the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid for a State-funded defence lawyer, but has not yet received any response.
However, an official from the Directorate of Legal Aid told the court their office has not yet received the accused’s application.
Simasiku was directed by the court to apply again for a government-sponsored defence lawyer while in the presence of the official from the Directorate of Legal Aid.
His murder and attempted murder case was, thereafter, postponed to 19 September 2019 to allow Legal Aid enough time to process his application.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef is representing the prosecution in the matter.
On 16 July 2019, Simasiku appeared before Windhoek Magistrate Vanessa Stanley, when his case was transferred from the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court to the Windhoek High Court as per a decision taken by the Office of the Prosecutor-General.
Simasiku was informed of the PG’s decision by prosecutor Laura Mabuku while in the presence of his former defence lawyer, Henry Shimutwikeni, who only represented him during appearances in the Magistrate's Court.
Simasiku remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, with no option to post bail after a failed formal bail attempt over the past few months.
On 28 January 2019, Simasiku allegedly walked into the City Centre office building and shot the two victims.
One victim, 58-year-old Sarah Mwilima, a director of the Global Fund programme management unit, died at the scene. The other victim, Ester Nepolo, was wounded and received medical treatment at a local hospital.
Simasiku previously worked at the programme management unit under the Global Fund Directorate based within the Ministry of Health and Social Services, along with the two victims, and was employed at the ministry’s Primary Health Care unit at the time of the incident.
The accused handed himself over to the Wanaheda Police Station shortly after the incident.
The motive for the shooting is still unknown.