Windhoek – It seems the perceived failure of lawyer Afrika Jantjies to secure his release on bail prompted former cop and alleged killer of his own sons, Albertus Ganeb, 30, to opt for the services of a new lawyer.
Jantjies informed High Court Judge Dinah Usiku he wants to withdraw from the case and that Titus Ipumbu will take over from him. He said he already handed over the case records to Ipumbu, who asked the court to remand the matter to today at 14h15 to allow him to familiarise himself with the docket.
Acting Judge Boas Usiku recently denied Ganeb’s bail application, in the interest of justice and society.
Ganeb also challenged the constitutionality of his re-arrest after he was released from custody, following the provisional withdrawal of the charges against him. However, Judge Usiku dismissed the challenge, saying it (the re-arrest) was not unconstitutional.
“There is no provision in the Namibian Constitution guaranteeing a right not to be arrested more than once for the same offence when no trial had taken place in respect of an earlier offence after an earlier arrest,” the judge said when he dismissed the challenge.
He also refused to grant Ganeb bail, as there are “real fears” that Ganeb may interfere with witnesses, or worse, carry out threats he made against the mother of the boys he allegedly murdered.
Romily Swartz (the mother) testified during the bail hearing that she lived in fear that should Ganeb be released on bail he would harm her, her new baby and the new baby’s father.
She pleaded with the court to protect her and her new family from Ganeb. According to Swartz, he (Ganeb) on various occasions threatened to kill her and she believes he has the means to carry out his threat if released on bail.
It also emerged during the bail hearing that Ganeb informed several of his former colleagues by text message on April 25, 2014 that he had killed his two boys and he was looking for Swartz so as to finish the job.
The acting judge found in his bail ruling that it would be a risk to grant Ganeb bail.
Ganeb was released in October last year after the State failed to convince a magistrate to postpone the matter further for obtaining forensic evidence and the matter was struck from the roll. He was however re-arrested in January this year after the State completed its investigations. The magistrate issued an arrest warrant, instead of the usual summons ordering an accused back to court.
In usual circumstances should an accused fail to appear in court within 14 days after a summons was issued an arrest warrant would then be issued. But in the case of Ganeb, the investigating officer indicated to the court that he never had any intention to ask for a summons, but for a warrant of arrest directly after he completed his investigations.
Ganeb is facing two charges of murder and two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. It is alleged by the State that he stabbed his seven-year-old son to death on April 25, 2014 and stabbed his four-year-old son at least six times on his body and head, causing the boy to die six days later in hospital.
He is further accused of assaulting the mother of the deceased boys in October 2013 and again in 2014.