The man accused of shooting a Finnish citizen nine times with a pistol in an apparent fit of road rage last year entered a plea of not guilty to both charges he faces before the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
Danne Rodney Shaningua, 44, answered not guilty in Afrikaans after Prosecutor Ntelamo Mabuku read the charges of murder and defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice.
It is alleged Shaningua fired nine shots at Ronni Marco Kristian Uolevi, 42, at around 00h30 on August 2 last year. Uolevi died shortly afterwards at the scene outside Joker’s Bar along Bell Street in Windhoek’s southern industrial area.
The incident allegedly happened after Uolevi, a Finnish national married to a Namibian citizen, bumped into the rear of Shaningua’s car and drove off. Apparently infuriated by this, Shaningua allegedly followed Uolevi and when he caught up with him, emptied his 9mm pistol in a hail of bullets that killed Uolevi.
Defense counsel Orben Sibeya, who represents a calm looking Shaningua, dressed casually in a striped black suit, confirmed to Magistrate Justine Asino that the pleas are in accordance with his instructions.
He further said they do not intend to reveal the basis of their defense at this stage and would only do so at trial.
Asino postponed the matter to August 29 for the Prosecutor-General to decide where Shaningua will be tried, according to Section 119 of the Criminal Procedures Act.
A Section 119 plea refers to an instance when an accused is formally informed about the charges against him by a magistrate, and if not legally represented, is informed about his rights.
Thereafter the matter is referred to the Prosecutor-General for a decision on whether the evidence is sufficient to proceed to trial and to specify the court the accused is to be tried in.
Sibeya also informed the court that he will bring a new bail application in July, based on new facts. During his first formal bail hearing Shaningua was denied bail, because he was considered a flight risk and because of the seriousness of the offence.
At the time the investigating officer said they found Shaningua at his family house in Windhoek North in possession of his passport, raising suspicions that he intended to flee the country.
Public Prosecutor Joseph Andreas at the time strongly objected to granting bail to Shaningua. Given the gravity of the charges he faces the suspect may flee Namibia while out on bail to avoid prosecution, he argued.
He said then that it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice and that of the public at large to grant Shaningua bail, as police investigations into the case were still at an early stage and the suspect could interfere with ongoing investigations.
Sibeya indicated that as the police have completed their investigations, the threat of interfering is no longer valid.
Unconfirmed reports at the time suggested the businesses of Shaningua hit a rough patch and as a result he started to show signs of frustration, while other unsubstantiated reports claimed 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.