Suspects in hospital murder case denied bail

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Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop-Seven suspects charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the stabbing to death of a young man at Keetmanshoop State Hospital were denied bail during their first court appearance on Friday.

Milford Richter, 28, Hans Boois, 23, Elrico Nikodemus, 29, Edwin Kanangure, 21, Ramon Dirkse, 29, Desmond Jimmy, 22, and Wlywelen Dreyer, 36, stand accused of killing 20-year-old Johan Jansen about a week ago.

During their first appearance at Keetmanshoop Magistrates Court, State Prosecutor Adriana Sangunji opposed bail, saying it was not in the interest of the public nor the administration of justice, and that the State fears the suspects might interfere with ongoing police investigations.

Magistrate Murray Shikongo denied bail to all suspects and postponed the case to August 31 for further police investigations and for four of the accused to apply for legal representation, while he also informed the accused of their rights to a formal bail application.

During the brief court appearance, lawyer Florian Beukes representing Nikodemus, Kanangure and Jimmy, told the court of the urgency for two of his clients to receive medical care, as they had not been treated for injuries sustained during a fight on the day of the murder. He also asked that his clients not be interrogated in his absence.

The reported gang fight, which eventually cost Jansen his life, reportedly started at a bar in Tseiblaagte and continued at the hospital where injured members of the two groups were taken for medical assistance.

It was at the hospital where the deceased youth was apparently stabbed several times, causing his death.

The court hearing drew large crowds and the courtroom was packed to capacity, leaving some to stand due to lack of seats, while the police presence was also notable, given that emotions are running high over the murder of Jansen.

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