Forensic expert testifies in Okahandja farm murder case

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-A forensic scientist who studied the crime scene where the suspected poacher, 41-year-old Andreas Ukandanga, was killed in Okahandja last year has confirmed that Ukandanga died as a result of being hit by a ricocheting bullet.

Farmer Kai Rust, 44, who has been charged with the murder of Ukandanga, is said to have fired the shot that killed Ukandanga on January 27, 2016.

Sam Karugab, a forensic scientist at the Namibia Forensic and Scientific Institute, took the stand yesterday in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura, where he explained that according to his findings, the bullets were fired in the direction of Ukandanga, but he could not confirmwhether they were aimed directly at Ukandanga.

“The deceased was struck by a bullet that hit his body on the left hand side at 14.7° angle,” narrated Karugab, who further said the bullet did not have to change direction much for it to hit the deceased.

Karugab noted that from the distance where the three spent cartridges were found and the use of the microscope on the hunting rifle, Rust would have been able to see Ukandanga and his three companions.

Rust, who had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ukandanga and three charges of attempted murder, informed the court through defence attorney Jan Wessels, that he did not fire a shot at any person with the intent to injure or kill.

The four charges that Rust faces are all in connection to the shooting incident that occurred on his father’s farm, Otukaru, in the vicinity of Okahandja on January 27 last year.

Ndara Ndjamba, who was amongst three suspected poachers that fled the scene on the day in question, has confirmed that they had gone to the farm illegally to hunt without a permit, or permission from the owner of the farm.

There were allegedly skinning a kudu when they heard gunshots with one of the bullets hitting Ukandanga and the other hitting their dog. The State is yet to fiinalise its case, as two more witnesses are expected to take the stand. The matter was postponed to Friday for continuation of trial.

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