Police officer Justine Simataa, who allegedly fired nine shots point blank into the body of Firmino Fabrice Mael in retaliation for him being beaten up by Mael and his friends will have to wait until next March to hear his fate.
After hearing extensive arguments from both State and defense counsels Judge Nate Ndauendapo informed Simataa on Thursday last week that the nearest opening he has in his calendar to deliver judgment is March 30 next year.
Simataa faces four charges related to the incident. He is charged with murder with direct intent for the shooting of Mael outside a bar in Khomasdal on October 26, 2012.
He is further charged with attempted murder for shooting Millikan Likando at least three times, or alternatively, negligent discharge of a firearm.
He also faces charges of malicious damage to property because of the shots he fired into the car of the deceased, as well as the discharge of a firearm in a public place.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges at the start of his trial in May and is free on bail of N$2 000.
State Advocate Constance Moyo has asked the court to convict Simataa on all charges. According to her, the claim of self-defence of the accused is ludicrous, as his life was not in danger when he went to fetch his gun from a security guard, walked up to the car the deceased was seated in and emptied his service pistol into the body of Mael.
She further said Simataa himself changed his story so many times that even his defense counsel could not keep up.
“It is of paramount importance to highlight that most of his evidence both in-chief and under cross-examination was fraught with numerous inconsistencies if regard were given to the instructions that had been put to the State witnesses during cross-examination by his counsel of record,” Moyo said.
She continued: “Even the interjections/objections by his counsel could not save him, as the discrepancies, inconsistencies and recantations were so glaring as would leave a right-minded person wondering as to who has been misleading the court between the accused and his counsel.”
That notwithstanding, she said, the accused’s life was not in danger when he decided to take revenge on the persons who humiliated him. The only danger in this case was his “bruised ego”, she said.
Mbanga Siyomunji, who represented the accused, mainly directed the court’s attention to the contradictions in the State witnesses’ testimonies. According to him, all four of the people that were with Mael that night had a different story to tell and they could not remember what transpired, because they were all drunk.
The only true version of what transpired that night is the version of the accused and to some extent that of the two independent witnesses, Genevieve Fischer and Lee Golden, which corroborates the accused’s claim that he was viciously assaulted outside the bar, he held.
He, however, disputes part of the testimonies of both Fischer and Golden, especially the parts where the accused allegedly walked up to the security guard to fetch something from him and telling Golden after the assault: “Now they will see”.
According to Siyomunji, his client was in pain and shock after the assault and still fearing for his life shot in the general direction of the vehicle in which Mael and his friends were sitting.
Siyomunji said based on the evidence, no reasonable court acting carefully can convict and asked the court to acquit his client on all counts.