Rhino poaching suspect appears before court at Otavi

10 Sep 2019 16:40pm
OTJIWARONGO, 10 SEP (NAMPA) - A 40-year-old man accused of rhino poaching and exchanging gunfire with members of the Namibian Police Force outside Otavi made his first appearance in the Otavi Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Joseph Ngoma appeared before Otavi Magistrate, McLean Handjamba, who explained his legal right to engage a private lawyer; apply for a State-funded lawyer through the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Directorate, or defend himself in court.
He opted to engage the services of a private lawyer.
The case was postponed to 19 November 2019 for further police investigations and to allow the accused ample time to acquire the legal representation.
Ngoma was remanded in custody at Otavi, but was informed that he can bring forth a formal bail application, if he wishes to be released.
Public prosecutor Sarah Kandume represented the State in the matter.
Ngoma faces a charge of hunting specially protected game after he allegedly shot and killed a rhino in the Etosha National Park on an unknown date.
He also faces charges of possession of a rhino horn, unlicensed gun and its ammunition and attempted murder for firing at police officers in uniforms.
Ngoma allegedly exchanged gunfire with a team of 15 police officers and members of the Namibian Defence Force for nearly two hours on a farm outside Otavi on Sunday.
The Otjozondjupa Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Naukalemo Andreas told Nampa on Monday the gunfire exchange started around 12h00 and only ended when Ngoma allegedly abandoned the 375 hunting rifle he was using.
The suspect was apprehended later that day.