WINDHOEK - Three men accused of stealing 26 cattle worth N$225 000 were denied bail yesterday in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
The three suspects – Jason Nyemba, Thobias Kaluwa and John Nambongo – made a first appearance before Magistrate Justine Asino on a charge of stock theft. Prosecutor Samantha Diergaardt objected to bail in the strongest terms and told Magistrate Justine Asino investigations are still at an initial stage and that there are fears that the accused might interfere with state witnesses.
She also said that the seriousness of the offence and the amount of money involved does not warrant granting them bail. Diergaardt told Magistrate Asino that several witness statements are still outstanding and the State fears that the accused will interfere with especially those witnesses. She said the investigating officer indicated to her that he will need at least three weeks to obtain statements and that bail can then be considered for the accused.
Defence lawyer, Aino Kamanja, who appeared on behalf of the suspects on instructions from Sisa Namandje, told the court that his instructions are to move for a bail application on an urgent basis since the suspects are losing a livelihood because of their continued incarceration. Kamanja told the court he was not informed beforehand of the interference fears or misgivings and said he had already had discussions with the control prosecutor regarding the bail application. He asked Magistrate Asino to assign them a date for a bail hearing before the next court appearance, which is March 27.
Magistrate Asino granted the State’s request for a remand, but ordered that the prosecution and defence must consult on a possible bail application date, which must also be brought to the attention of the court and the head of her office to diarise the date in order to determine in which court the bail hearing should take place depending on availability. The suspects remain in custody at the Windhoek police station.