Cop’s bail appeal struck off court roll

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Windhoek

An appeal against a refusal of bail in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court for murder accused, City of Windhoek police officer Werner Shetekela, 30, was yesterday struck off the roll in the Windhoek High Court by Judge Dinah Uusiku.
Judge Uusiku, in concurrence with Judge Alfred Siboleka, struck the matter from the role because the notice of appeal was not “properly constituted”.

The State, represented by Deputy Prosecutor General Antonia Verhoef, raised a point in limine that the grounds for the appeal do not comply with Rule 67 (1) of the Magistrate’s Court Rules, which provide that such a notice ‘shall set out clearly and specifically the grounds, whether of fact or law, or both fact and law on which the appeal is based’.

She said that the notice fails to set out a single ground why it is stated that the magistrate erred when he failed to admit the accused to bail, while granting his co-accused bail. While Mbanga Siyomunji filed a concise statement on behalf of Shetekela, he failed to submit a power of attorney, as he signed the statement, she said.

According to Verhoef, the only thing for the court to do was to strike the appeal to allow Siyomunji to lodge a fresh appeal, together with a power of attorney and a condonation for the late filing in due course.

Siyomunji argued the record of the bail proceedings in the magistrate’s court was not available in time, which caused him to file the appeal in time and later supplemented it with the concise statement.

He lodged the bail appeal after Magistrate Erich Kesslau refused Shetekela bail on July 2, but granted his co-accused Rosalia Eliphas bail.

Shetekela and Eliphas are charged with the murder of his wife, Taleni (Momy) Shetekela on April 23. It is alleged that the deceased found Shetekela in the company of Rosalia Eliphas, with whom he allegedly had an extra-marital affair.

The two supposed lovers then allegedly assaulted the deceased so severely that she lost consciousness. The deceased died the next morning in the Roman Catholic Hospital, where she was admitted to the ICU after Shetekela took her there.

During his evidence in the bail application in the magistrate’s court, Shetekela told the court that after his wife locked him out of their common home, he went to Eliphas to ask for her room keys so he could sleep there.

He maintained he and Eliphas are only friends and co-workers. He said while he was talking with Eliphas while seated in his car, the deceased arrived and slapped Eliphas and chased her around the car, armed with a Heineken beer bottle. Eliphas then jumped into his car and told him to drive off, while the deceased approached the driver’s door with the bottle and he drove off with the door still open. While he drove he heard a sound and when he looked back he saw the deceased lying on the tarmac. He then put the deceased into his vehicle and drove to his cousin’s place. From there – while his cousin drove – he held her in his arms in the backseat on their way to the Roman Catholic Hospital.

Shetekela is also facing charges of murder, kidnapping and defeating or obstructing the course of justice with fellow City Police officers, Kleopas Shiikalepo Kapalanga, 28, and 33-year-old Elia Nakale for the alleged murder of Mandela Ramakhuha, a 17-year-old boy.

He was out on bail on the murder and obstruction charges when he was arrested for the alleged murder of his wife of five years.

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