Evidence mounts against police implicated for murder

by Roland Routh

Evidence mounts against police implicated for murder

Windhoek

More witnesses testified in the case of the death of a 17-year-old boy, saying the deceased was handcuffed and in a bad condition in the company of the three City Police officers accused of his murder.

Zenobia Samuel, a neighbour of the deceased, testified that she saw the three accused – Johannes Shetekela Werner, 30, Kleopas Shiikalepo Kapalanga, 28, and Elia Nakale, 33 – coming towards her house that night at about 20h00 with the deceased, Mandela Ramakhuha.



The suspects initially removed him from the loading box of the pickup they were driving and half-carried, half dragged him towards where she and her mother were standing.

They then went to the house where the deceased was staying and knocked on the door, but there was no answer and they returned to the pickup with the deceased.

According to Samuel, the deceased could not walk by himself and his head was hanging down and she could not see his face.

Earlier during the trial, two witnesses testified that they saw the deceased while he was seated on the back seat of the twin-cab and that his face was severely swollen.

The witnesses, the grandmother and a niece of the deceased, further informed the court that Werner, accused 1, told them to be thankful they did not shoot him dead.

Samuel further told the court that when the three accused again went past her and her mother, her mother asked them what was wrong with the “boy” and they told her he was drunk.

“He could not walk properly and his head was hanging down,” she told the court repeatedly during cross-examination from the defence counsels of the accused.

“I could not see his face to see whether it was swollen, but I could see something bad was wrong with him,” she continued.

Other state witnesses already testified that when they encountered the deceased and the officers, they too could sense that the deceased was in a “bad condition”.

The accused are charged with kidnapping Ramakhuha and continuously assaulting the 17-year-old while driving around with him handcuffed, thereby causing his death eight days later in the Katutura hospital.

Namibian Police Force officers who received Ramakhuha in their care after the accused asked them to lock him up for theft, testified the three accused told him the victim was drunk and faking injuries when they were questioned about his condition.

They however suspected he was severely injured and took him to Katutura hospital where he was admitted.

The alleged kidnapping was the result of them suspecting Ramakhuha of being involved in the theft of laptops and cellphones at the City Police  head office and their subsequent investigation, it is stated in the charge sheet.

They face charges of murder, kidnapping and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

They pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of their trial.

It is alleged they killed Ramakhuha by assaulting him all over his head and body, and handcuffed him and let him fall down or threw him on the ground causing him to die in the Katutura hospital on April 24, 2013 as a result of his injuries.

Braam Cupido represents Werner, Willem Visser is acting for Kapalanga and Kadhila Amoomo for Nakale, all on private instructions through the City of Windhoek.

State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi prosecutes and the case continues.

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