Police officer guilty of murder

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-Namibian police constable Linus Nzwana who shot a young man on the streets of Shandumbala, Katutura in August 2013 was yesterday found guilty of murder.

Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi found 29-year-old Nzwana guilty of murder with direct intent, in that he gunned down 22-year-old Joel Martin in cold blood on August 10, 2013, stating Martin was not an opposing threat to Nzwana before he was shot.
“I am satisfied to say that there was no attack on the accused, and I am throwing out the version of the defence,” noted the magistrate.

Nzwana has maintained he acted in self-defence when he shot Martin.
Velikoshi said there were contradictions and inconsistencies in the evidence presented throughout the trial.

According to the evidence presented during the trial, Martin and his three friends were walking in the street when a white bakkie that was speeding approached them. As they were moving out of the way of the vehicle the deceased said something derogatory to Nzwana who brought the vehicle to a halt. He then reversed up to where the deceased and his friends were standing.

Nzwana got out of the car and approached the deceased enquiring what the problem was. After an exchange of words between the two parties, Nzwana walked back to the bakkie, took out his personal 9mm pistol and fired a shot directly at the deceased.

Martin, who was holding a half empty bottle of alcohol (Savanna cider) in his hands, died after being shot in his chest. Nzwana did so without even firing warning shots.
Even though Nzwana fled the scene after the shooting he later that day handed himself over to the Katutura police.

Through his defence attorney Braam Cupido, Nzwana claimed that the deceased had approached the vehicle holding a bottle with the intent to attack him. He said he never meant to kill him but rather to incapacitate his arm.
Magistrate Velikoshi postponed the matter for submissions before sentencing to April 10.

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