Another postponement in treason retrial

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-The case of eight men who are set for a retrial for their alleged involvement in the plot to secede the then Caprivi from Namibia was postponed to Monday next week in the Windhoek High Court.

The court could not proceed as planned as there were issues pertaining to the trial that needed to be resolved before it could commence on Monday this week.

Progress Kenyoka Munuma, Shine Samulandela Samulandela, Manuel Manepelo Makendano, Alex Sinjabata Mushakwa, Diamond Samunzala Salufu, Hoster Simasiku Ntombo, Fredderick Ntamilwa and John Mazila Tembwe are all appearing in a retrial after the Supreme Court in 2012 set aside all the convictions and sentences imposed against them after their initial appeal to the Supreme Court failed.

The judge at the time ruled that the judgement imposed on the eight back in 2007 should be set aside to have the trial start afresh. All men facing retrial have been held in custody for more than 13 years now.

Upon commencement of their trial next week, Munuma and his seven co-accused plan to file a special plea questioning if it is within the High Court’s jurisdiction to try them on charges of high treason and territorial claims of the Caprivi.

Munuma and his co-accused are still facing charges of high treason, sedition, public violence, and illegal possession of ammunition, and two charges of importing, possessing or supplying weaponry and ammunition for such weapons.

The eight men were arrested between July 2002 and December 2003 and were found guilty of high treason amongst other charges in July 2007.

The men are charged by the State for allegedly having been part of the armed secessionist organisation in the former Caprivi that conspired to overthrow the Namibian government in that region between September 1998 and December 2003 and separate Caprivi from Namibia. The group allegedly imported into Namibia armaments comprised of cannon, machine-guns, magazines and other military weapons for their cause.

Munuma and his seven co-accused were part of 121 men who were initially arrested for a total of 278 charges for the longest trial so far in a Namibian court.

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