Residents of Tses are up in arms over what they term incompetence in the judiciary after the release of a murder and rape suspect at the village.
A group of people handed over a petition at the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court on Monday demanding answers as to why Jesaja Boois was released from custody on August 3.
The case of Jesaya Boois, 39, in which he stands accused of rape and murder was summarily struck from the roll on Monday last week by Magistrate Anthony Shapumba, who cited alleged negligence on the part of the State, as his reason for discharging the suspect.
Boois is suspected of perpetrating the violent rape and murder in 2014 of 28-year-old Bonaventura Jahs, who was six months pregnant at the time.
Reading the petition on behalf of the protestors, Roline Amunjera said the Tses community was reeling with shock after hearing of the release of Boois, who is apparently known to local people as a habitual criminal.
“This man is connected to another murder and it is a known fact that he has threatened witnesses. We live in fear of this person and demand immediate intervention and a clear answer to this grave mistake,” Amunjera said.
According to the petition community members strongly believe that Boois raped, strangled and murdered Bonaventura Jahs on September 3 last year; some people further alleged that he was involved in another gruesome crime that claimed the lives of several elderly people.
Amunjera further said Boois is a threat to women and children in the community, adding that he had earlier threatened to kill his then girlfriend and one of his children.
“Women are vulnerable in our communities and the decision to release Mr Boois has left us numb with fear,” she stressed.
Locals were astonished by the fact that while the Tses community is still recovering from his alleged campaign of terror at the village, Boois is already walking the streets.
She also claimed that prior to their drafting the petition, Boois had also threatened some locals that had come forward to act as State witnesses against him.
She said they were astonished that a suspect with a record of devious and cruel acts could be released with no valid explanation, while domestic violence offenders and suspects are kept in police custody. About 81 people signed the residents’ petition, which was received by Magistrate Philanda Christiaans. She said they would have to investigate the circumstances surrounding Boois’ release before she could give an informed response.
A court source told Nampa that Boois may likely walk free. “Magistrate Shapumba based his judicial decision on his discretion and it is not guaranteed that the Prosecutor General will overturn this decision,” the source explained.
The latest petition also noted that no response was received to the residents’ earlier petition handed to the police during a peaceful demonstration at Tses in September 2014.
Meanwhile, news surfaced that Boois was rearrested on Thursday last week on a further charge of assault. An officer at the Tses police station confirmed that Boois was arrested for allegedly assaulting a fellow inmate in the police holding cells, shortly before Shapumba discharged him.
Boois has since been transferred to the Koës police holding cells, following requests from fellow inmates at Tses that he be removed.
– Additional reporting by Nampa