Farm murder suspect out on bail

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-Kai Rust, the 45-year-old farmer charged with murder and three counts of attempted murder involving suspected poachers whom he found on his father’s farm, has finally managed to convince the court to grant him bail.

After numerous failed attempts to regain his freedom, Rust through his defence attorney, Jan Wessels, yesterday succeeded in persuading Magistrate Alexis Diegaardt to grant him bail in the amount of N$40,000.

Rust was arrested on January 27 last year in connection with the murder of 41-year-old Andreas Ukandanga, which allegedly occurred during a shooting on Farm Otukaru, in the vicinity of Okahandja, which belongs to Rust’s father.

Diegaardt granted Rust bail on condition he not leave the district of Okahandja without permission of the investigation officer; that he surrender all his travel documents; and that he report himself to the police station every Monday and Friday.

The prosecution is charging Rust with a count of murder and three charges of attempted murder after Ukandanga died of a gunshot wound at the scene.

With regard to the three charges of attempted murder, the prosecution alleges Rust had tried to kill Ukandanga’s three companions, Ndara Ndjamba, Nikanor Ntjamba and Muronga Hausiku, by firing at them during the same incident.
The three reportedly fled the scene unharmed.

Testifying during his ongoing trial, Rust denied guilt in connection to all four charges against him and claimed Ukandanga was struck by a bullet that ricocheted after it hit a rock near where Ukandanga and his companions were hiding, when Rust fired shots at a stray dog.

According to Rust, the stray dog was standing in front of a large rock at the time. Following the shooting three men jumped from behind the rock and ran away. Rust claims he did not fire any shots at any person with the intention to injure or kill, although he does not dispute he fired shots on the day of the incident.

Upon being granted bail, the suspect was warned that should he fail to appear in court in August, a warrant of arrest would be issued against him and his bail would be provisionally cancelled.

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