Shaningwa arrested over Fin’s murder, denied bail

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Windhoek

A 43-year-old Windhoek-based businessman, Rodney Dannie Shaningwa, who is suspected of killing Ronni Marco Kristian Uolevi, 42, in an apparent fit of road rage on Sunday morning was denied bail when he appeared before a special court at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Uolevi, a Finnish national married to a Namibian citizen, died in a hail of bullets after Shaningwa allegedly fired nine rounds from his pistol at around 00h30 on August 2. Uolevi died instantly at the scene outside Joker’s Bar along Bell Street in Windhoek’s southern industrial area.

It is understood that Uolevi bumped into Shaaningwa’s car from behind.

Public prosecutor Joseph Andreas yesterday strongly objected to granting bail to Shaningwa. Given the seriousness of the charges he faces the suspect may flee from Namibia to other countries while out on bail to avoid prosecution, he argued.

He said it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice and that of the public at large to grant Shaningwa bail now, as police investigations into the case were still at an early stage and the suspect could interfere with ongoing investigations.

The murder of Uolevi has sparked widespread interest and consequently the courtroom gallery was packed with members of the public yesterday. Shaningwa covered his face as he approached the courtroom while police officers – for unknown reasons – shielded his face from the cameras of journalists so that the murder suspect’s photos could not be taken.

Monica Hangula, Shaningwa’s defence lawyer requested that he be kept at the Hosea Kutako holding cells for health reasons. Shaningwa is diabetic, the court was told. Prosecutor Joseph Andreas did not object and Magistrate Ruth Herunga granted the request. Herunga then remanded the matter to October 16.

Unconfirmed reports suggest the businesses of Shaningwa have lately hit a rough patch and as a result he started to show signs of frustration, while other – as yet unsubstantiated – reports claim the two men were involved in an argument earlier that evening. Further unconfirmed rumours have it that the argument was over a woman who allegedly got into Uolevi’s vehicle that night.

Inspector Slogan Matheus from the Police Public Relations Division said following his arrest on Tuesday Shaningwa pointed out to crime investigators the place where he had parked his vehicle, a Volswagen Polo, that was involved in the collision with Uolevi’s car, a Land Rover Discovery.

At the time of his arrest, Shaningwa was found in possession of his Namibian passport, raising suspicions that he intended to flee the country.

“The pistol used in the murder has also been found and is in the hands of the police,” Matheus said on Tuesday, shortly after Shaaningwa was taken into custody at his family house in Windhoek North at around 10h00.

– Additional reporting by Nampa

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