Shaningwa’s road rage murder trial begins

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-The trial of a 45-year-old Windhoek businessman who is accused of shooting a Finnish national in what appeared to be a road rage incident in August 2015, began in the Windhoek High Court yesterday with the first key witness taking the stand before Judge Christie Liebenberg.

Rodney Danne Shaningwa stands accused of shooting and killing 42-year-old Finnish national Marco Kristian Uolevi on the street outside a local bar in Windhoek’s Southern Industrial Area at the stroke of midnight on August 9, 2015.

Shaningwa allegedly fired nine bullets from his 9mm Glock pistol towards Uolevi. Uolevi was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Alexander Paulus, a taxi driver at the time who had witnessed the whole incident, explained that he had just dropped off clients at the bar when a Range Rover bumped into the back of a white Polo Vivo.

He then saw the driver of the Polo Vivo get out of his vehicle with a pistol and start shooting at the Range Rover even though the female passenger was shouting for him not to. Paulus recalled that the Range Rover drove off but later came to a halt.
“Since I was also afraid of the shooting, I too drove off, and followed the Range Rover,” explained Paulus.

Paulus recalled seeing the driver of the Range Rover’s head leaning downwards on the steering wheel when they approached his vehicle. Paulus then alerted the police of what had just transpired before his eyes.

Shaningwa is facing charges of murder with direct intent and obstructing or defeating the course of justice, or attempting to obstruct or defeat the course of justice.

According to the prosecution, Shaningwa attempted to conceal the crime and hinder the police in their investigations by removing front and rear licence plates, removing a licence disk, and failed to report the accident within 24 hours after it happened.
Shaningwa has pleaded not guilty to all charges and through his defence lawyer Advocate Slysken Makando he explained that he shot the deceased in self-defence.

Shaningwa said that after the collision he approached the Range Rover but the driver was attempting to run him over, thus he took out his pistol and fired in self-defence. He further said that he never tried to obstruct the course of just nor ordered someone to do so.

The court is to hear the testimonies of 31 people still set to take the stand this week.

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