The man accused of pumping nine bullets into a Finnish national last year, in an apparent incident of road rage, made a first pre-trial appearance in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.
The accused, Danne Rodney Shaningua, 45, who was neatly attirred in a dark suit and red tie, is charged with one count of murder and one count of 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 during August 8 to 9 last year. Uolevi died instantly at the scene outside Joker’s Bar in Bell Street in Windhoek’s Southern Industrial Area.
It is further alleged that Shaningua during August 9 to 11, 2015, hid a white VW Polo, removed the front and rear number plates, removed the licence disk, failed to report to the lawful owner that the vehicle was damaged in an accident and failed to report the accident to the police.
It is alleged he did all this in an attempt to frustrate the police investigations into the accident and death of the deceased.
According to the indictment, during the late night hours of Saturday August 8, 2015 and early hours of Sunday, August 9, 2015 in Bell Street, the deceased was driving a vehicle with registration number N141-198W, and he bumped into the rear of a stationary vehicle with registration number N158-395W, in which the accused and a witness were sitting. It is further stated the accident caused damage to the vehicle in which the accused was sitting.
The indictment states Shaningua then got out of his vehicle and fired at least nine shots with his licensed firearm in the direction of the deceased, who was still sitting inside his motor vehicle.
“Two shots struck the deceased and his vehicle came to a standstill a distance away from the accident scene,” the indictment reads.
It further says the victim died in his vehicle due to blood loss caused by gunshot injuries to the chest. Shaningua, according to the indictment, fled the scene after making sure the victim was dead and went to hide the car.
Newspaper reports at the time said 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.
Allegedly infuriated by this, Shaningua followed Uolevi and when he caught up with him, emptied his 9mm pistol in a hail of bullets.
Shaningua listened intently to the discussion between his lawyer Orben Sibeya and Judge Christi Liebenberg.
The judge postponed the matter to November 17 and ordered that Shaningua be moved from Hosea Kutako Police Station, where he was being held, to the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting inmates.
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. He was 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 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 Shaningua bail, as police investigations into the case were still at an early stage and the suspect could interfere with ongoing investigations.
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 had it that the argument was over a woman who allegedly got into Uolevi’s vehicle that night.