WINDHOEK - The trial of self-confessed murderers, Dumingu Zuzee Da Costa (42) and Joseph Wasuka Nunda (36) was postponed yesterday to today due to the unavailability of the State’s last witness.
Chief Inspector I.A. van Zyl is expected to testify about the crime scenes accused two, Nunda, allegedly pointed out to him.
On Tuesday the confession of Nunda was read as evidence by Detective Inspector Peter John Oelofse and it differed vastly from the confession of Da Costa, his co-accused.
In the self-incriminating confession that was taken down by Oelofse after Nunda’s arrest on January 5 2006, Nunda claimed that Da Costa, who he refers to as ‘Costa’ throughout the statement, first called him while he was in Rundu and told him there was a “Boer” who had “black money”. He said that Costa told him that the “Boer” was looking for the “chemical”.
According to Nunda, in Rundu he poured the “chemical” into a bottle, which he sealed with a champagne-bottle cork.
He then travelled to Windhoek after contacting Costa in November of 2005. He said he stayed with Costa and that they then met with the “Boer” (meaning the deceased) at his house.
He narrated that when they arrived at the deceased’s house he (the deceased) asked Costa if he (Nunda) brought the stuff to which Costa replied yes, and he then produced the bottle containing the ‘chemical’.
According to Nunda, the “Boer” asked whether he could “wash the money”, to which he replied that they had to do it themselves and he just wanted his money amounting to US$15 000 for the “chemical”.
However, the accused continued in his confession, after some deliberations he came down with his price to US$10 000 for the ‘chemical’ after which Ralph Köhnke (the deceased) gave him 7 500 Euros.
The “Boer” then said that he would store the bottle in his fridge and he (Nunda) then told Costa to take him “halfway”, after which they went to Wernhil Park and shared the money.
He said in the confession that after he returned to Rundu, Costa informed the “Boer” that he (Nunda) had left to fetch other chemicals and Costa called him after a while and told him that the “Boer” wanted him to come to Windhoek to wash the money.
According to him, Costa again called him stating that he was afraid of the “Boer” as he was being followed and that the “Boer” was demanding his money, the approximate N$80 000 that he gave them. Costa then sent him a SMS with the “Boer’s” cellphone number.
Nunda said in his confession that he called the “Boer” who requested him to take a taxi to Windhoek, which he refused, resulting in Costa calling him the Monday after Christmas asking him (Nunda) to come to Windhoek with him (Costa).
He said that they arrived back in Windhoek that Monday from Rundu at about 17:30 in the same car. He confessed that after they arrived back in Windhoek, he and Costa had further discussions and Costa told him that he was afraid of the “Boer” since he lost the money in Rundu, to which he replied that they should just “explain to the Boer that we need to get more chemicals”. He said in his confession that Costa then suggested that they must kill the “Boer” to which he replied that it would not help.
According to Nunda’s confession that was read as evidence by Oelofse, the “Boer” sent an SMS to Costa stating that if “you can’t bring the money, we will see what will happen” after which he left. He further stated that between 22:00 and 23:00, Costa called him and asked him to bring a stone along and he (Costa) would hit the “Boer”.
According to the confession, they arrived at the “Boer’s” house in Windhoek West after he was picked up near the Polytechnic and the “Boer” then asked him to wash the money, claiming that Costa knew where he got the money from.
He said that at one stage the “Boer” was behind him in the kitchen and that fearing that the “Boer” would hurt him he swung around and hit the “Boer” once next to his right eye causing him (the “Boer”) to fall down. He said that Costa then stepped on the throat of the “Boer” with his foot and took the stone out of the bag and hit the “Boer” once on the left side of his head. “I realized that he is still alive and hit him two times on the head,” the self-incriminating confession reads.
He said Costa then proceeded to fetch a blanket and they then loaded the body into the back of a Venture/Condor and drove the vehicle somewhere into the bushes. He said that they “offloaded” the “Boer” and that Costa said that they must get petrol, which they bought and then returned to the place where they dropped the body. According to the spine-chilling account, Costa then poured the petrol over the body and set it alight. He further said that they went back to the house and to a service station in Wanaheda where they left the car.
After they left the car, they went to Costa’s place where they took his bike and drove to Wanaheda where they left the car and Costa then dropped him off at a friend’s place.
Costa called him the next day to collect the car and park it at the “park”. In the evening, Costa again called the accused and told him to get the vehicle and fetch him (Costa), after which they went to the “Boer’s” house and collected the safe.
According to the confession, they took the safe to a place where they cut it open with a cutting torch.
He said that they found ammunition and two rifles in the safe, plus some money in a holder from which Costa gave him 700 Euros. He went on to say that they took the rifles and ammunition to the vehicle and drove to a river where they dumped the rifles and ammunition.
The confessions that were made by the two men accused of killing and robbing Ralph Köhnke, a flight instructor at his house in Windhoek West on December 26 2005, were admitted as evidence by Judge Nate Ndauendapo in July this year after a long trial-within-a-trial.
Besides the murder charge, the two accused face further charges of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the cause of justice, alternatively violating a dead body and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Costa and Nunda have pleaded not guilty to all charges. The case continues today with the State expected to call its last witness.
Christian Nambahu represents Da Costa, defence counsel Winnie Christians is appearing on behalf of Nunda and Deputy Prosecutor General Belinda Wantenaar is prosecuting.