By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK A family comet observation excursion on Thursday evening ended tragically when a Namibian man was shot through the heart at the sighting post from where they were taking photographs of the phenomenon in the night sky in the capital. Neels Swiegers (53), employed by a second-hand car dealer business and a freelance photographer for a weekly English newspaper, was taking photographs for the Observer on a hill behind the Goreangab dam on Thursday evening when the shooting incident took place. “My two daughters and I accompanied Neels last Thursday evening around 07h30 to the Goreangab Dam,” said Georgevis Izaks, an eyewitness to the murder. “We were taking photos for some time when all of a sudden three black-masked hoodlums emerged from the bushes nearby, threatening us with a weapon. In shock, Neels threw up his hands and asked me what we were going to do about the situation,” said Izaks. According to Izaks, one of the thugs, whom he suspects was lying in wait, shot Swiegers in cold blood in the chest and ordered them both to lie down on the ground. “In that split second, I saw Swiegers sliding down, with a painful expression on his face, onto his stomach next to me. He already gasped for breath with blood oozing from the bullet wound. With a gun threateningly pointed at our heads, the thugs searched our pockets. They took our mobile phones and the cameras. By then Neels was dead,” Izaks said, worried about his two daughters who were watching the incident in silence a few metres away. “Fortunately, the children kept their cool. They hid their own mobile phones just before they were confronted by the three men, who tried to remove the key from my vehicle in an effort to prevent us from driving off. Luckily, they could not manage to remove the key. Shortly thereafter, the three disappeared like phantoms into the dark,” Izaks said of the incident that was executed in a matter of minutes. Izaks said he jumped up from his prostrate position and immediately called the Windhoek City Police from one of his daughters’ mobile telephones. “Not knowing our exact geographic position at the dam, I drove downhill to guide the police, who instantly responded and arrived at the spot where the brutal killing took place. By then, the thugs had cowardly run off. My daughters and I are very lucky not to have been harmed or injured,” an obviously relieved Izaks said. By yesterday, Namibian Police spokesperson, Sergeant Sebastian Nuuyin said the investigations were continuing but no one has yet been arrested.
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