Police officer found guilty of murder

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Maria Amakali
Windhoek

A former police constable who shot and killed a man at a shebeen five years ago was found guilty of murder by the Windhoek High Court.

Thirty-two-year-old Justin Simataa was found guilty of murder, attempted murder, malicious damage to property and unlawful handling and discharging of a firearm in a public place.

According to the indictment, on October 26, 2012, Simataa and his friends were hanging out at a shebeen in Khomasdal when a fight erupted. After the fight was dissolved the 25-year-old Firmino Fabrice Mael got into a Volkswagen Golf motor vehicle with the intent of leaving the sheeben. In the meantime Simataa went to collect his personal, licensed pistol from the security guard at the sheeben and returned and fired 10 shots towards Mael and his friends, who were seated in the car.

Mael was hit by nine bullets and was pronounced dead at the scene while his friend was hit by three bullets and was left in a critical state at the time. Even though Mael’s friend survived and has since recovered, one bullet is still stuck in his lungs as doctors fear complications if it were to be removed.

During his trial Simataa informed the court that he fired the shots in self-defence from Mael.

“When Simataa fired the shots, the fight between him and Mael had ended, and at that stage there was no imminent threat to his life and his actions exceeds the bounds of self-defence,” explained Judge Nate Ndauendapo when passing judgement.

Even though found guilty Simataa’s defence counsel Mbanga Siyomunji requested the court to extend his client’s bail until the time of sentencing, which the court granted. Simataa has been out on bail of N$2 000. Simataa will be sentenced on April 5.

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