The man who allegedly murdered two women and burned their bodies at a dumpsite in Windhoek in January has not yet been sent for psychological evaluation.
The accused, Lukas Nicodemus, 46, made his third appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court to answer on two counts of murder, as well as a charge of obstructing the course of justice, related to the manner in which he tried to dispose of the corpses.
In March his defence lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht, submitted an application in terms of Section 77(1) of the Criminal Procedures Act to the effect that Nicodemus should go for mental observation. “The application is based on the fact that during consultations I could not get a proper defence for us to raise. Therefore, the application is based on that,” Engelbrecht stated at the time.
Engelbrecht, who is representing Nicodemus on the instruction of the legal aid directorate, said he informed the prosecutor on Tuesday about the application: “What I could gather is that he would not oppose such application.” Magistrate Ilge Rheent indeed granted the request and the matter was remanded to April 8 for the accused to undergo mental observation.
When Nicodemus returned to court on Friday, the judge was informed that the Prosecutor-General’s office has not yet secured a bed at the Windhoek Central Hospital’s psychiatric unit for the mental examination. The case was then postponed to May 6.
The bodies of the murdered women, Clemencia de Wee, 23, and Johanny Naruses, 29, were found still smouldering at a dumpsite near Pionierspark in January. They were positively identified by family members, Inspector Slogan Matheus said at the time.
Family members of the victims became very emotional when Nicodemus was brought into court shortly after the murders in January and some could not hold back their tears. In March, when asked how he intends to plea, Nicodemus replied: “Not guilty.”
The murders came to light when a security guard at the dumpsite came across the smouldering remains of two people. Matheus said at the time it was believed not more than one person was involved in the murders. A black Golf GTI belonging to the suspect – that reportedly had bloodstains in it – was impounded after it was found abandoned at an undisclosed location in the capital.
“It is suspected the vehicle was the mode of transport used in the commission of the crime,” Matheus said. The relationship between the suspect and the two deceased has not yet been established. However, it is suspected the two women were in Nicodemus’s company before their deaths.
It is understood that the police retrieved a SIM card from the crime scene which upon further investigation led them to Nicodemus.