Kandara Inquest Day 2


Police Witnesses Mention Nico Josea By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek The name of Nico Josea, the chief of Namangol, has been added to the jigsaw puzzle to find answers about the cause of the death of Lazarus Kandara. The name of Josea who was jointly accused with Kandara was introduced to the inquest yesterday by two police officers who testified that on the night Kandara died the Chief of the Serious Crime Unit Inspector Oscar Shee-hama spent more than two hours speaking to Josea. The two police officers, namely Sergeant Benjamin Khoeseb and Josephat Kamatoto were on duty the night Kandara died and are the first members of the Namibian Police Force to testify in the inquest hearing. This piece of evidence created big interest especially to the legal counsel for the Kandara family, Gerson Hinda who wanted to find out whether it was procedural and what Sheehama could have possibly discussed with Josea. The Senior Counsel noted he could not understand what Sheehama, who was not even the investigating officer of the case, was discussing with an accused who had legal representation. Cross-questioning the two witnesses especially Kamatoto, it became clear that it might not have been procedural for Sheehama to have a discussion with Josea at that time but the police officers allowed him to do that because of his seniority. During cross-questioning from Hinda, Kamatoto also appeared to give evidence that conflicted with his sworn affidavit. In his original written statement Kamatoto said the wife of late Lazarus Kandara came twice to the police station and was wearing a bluish cloth on top while in yesterday’s testimony he claimed that Mrs Kandara only came once and he in fact did not see Mrs Kandara properly. Asked why he was giving conflicting evidence, he noted that the police officer investigating the death of Kandara said he must only mention a few things of what happened that night. Apart from the two police officers who testified yesterday, three lawyers also took the witness stand. Hinda was the first to take the stand and noted that on the fateful day he did not attend court proceedings at the High Court but received a phone call from Kandara’s lawyer Lucius Murorua at half past eight in the evening, and the discussion was about Kandara. “Murorua called me and said he was feeling bad because he believed that he had betrayed the lawyer/client confidentiality when he informed the police that Kandara was contemplating suicide.” Hinda said that he assured Murorua that he had done the right thing. Continuing with his testimony, Hinda added that at nine o’clock he received a phone call from Kandara. “Kandara said he needed a mattress and he came to my house with three police officers.” Hinda said Kandara told him that the police officials wanted to see his house and he invited them in. “Inside the house Kandara asked for the phone as he had a N$50 recharge voucher and called his brother Abraham Kandara who was in South Africa, Nate Ndauendapo who was in Otjiwarongo, his sister and two sons.” The lawyer further testified that Kandara informed him about his arrest and asked about the possibility of bail and a jail sentence. Hinda, who is his cousin, told him that there is a strong possibility of him going to jail and that because of the public interest it will be difficult for him to get bail soon. “Kandara said he accepted and asked me to take care of his kids and wife.” Continuing with his testimony, Hinda said an hour and half after Kandara left with the police officers, he received a call from Sergeant Lineekela Hiluntua calling him to come to the police station. He said: “Kom gou by die polisie stasie, daar is kak, Kandara het hom self dood geskiet.” Hinda said he was one of the first people to arrive at the scene in front of the Windhoek Police station, where Kandara was lying next to the police car in a pool of blood. “I saw his stomach was not moving and I felt his pulse and I could see how he was turning blue. I asked Hiluntua what happened and I did not get any reply. I was shocked.” Hinda said all the other police officers went into the building and only Scot and Hiluntua remained outside while the paramedics attended to the late Kandara. “The media arrived and started broadcasting from the scene and as soon as the paramedics took off his shoes I decided to go inform the family.” Closing his testimony, Hinda said after a while he returned and stayed at the scene up to 2 o’clock in the morning. After Hinda, Murorua took the stand and said that he asked Mrs Kandara to fetch her husband’s clothes and medication and bring them to the Windhoek Police Station. Murorua added that together with Dirk Conradie they went to the Windhoek Police Station and met Kandara with three police officials and Sheehama. “I informed the police that Mrs Kandara was to bring her husband’s clothes but Sheeha-ma informed me that they will be taking Kandara home.” Murorua added that Kandara then used his cell phone to call his wife before he asked the rest of the police officers and Conradie to leave them in privacy. Kandara then called Allen Rosenberg but there was no reply so he sent an sms. Murorua said Kandara asked him about his chances of going to jail or getting bail. “He then informed me about his thoughts of taking his life and I discouraged him against it.” Murorua said afterwards on his way out together with Conradie, they told Hiluntua that Kandara was planning to take his life and that they should keep a close eye on him. Murorua added that Hiluntua appeared to have taken the advice seriously and said they should even consider taking Kandara to his house. “I told them it was their discretion and on our way out Conradie jokingly said the police officers must give Kandara a few minutes in private with his wife as they do not know how long he will be in custody.” Conradie had similar testimony to that of Murorua. The inquest continues today, where more police officials and the doctors who did the post-mortem are expected to testify. The wife of late Kandara, Christophine Kan-dara and her two sisters Evangeline Gurirab and Ndinelao Kalomo, as well as three other family members gave their testimony in the inquest on Wednesday. They also attended the proceedings yesterday. Public Prosecutor Petrus Grushaber is representing the state.