Ex-girlfriend ‘killer’ makes first court appearance

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-A 39-year-old man who allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend to death on Sunday made his first appearance yesterday in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura, where he was denied bail. The suspect, Johannes Neuaka, shocked the nation when he fatally shot his ex-girlfriend Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann, 25, in the head.

Making his appearance in court before magistrate Michelle Kubersky, Neuaka who was a Namibia Defence Force (NDF) soldier based at Osona military base, was informed that he faces three charges – of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence and negligent discharge of firearm.

All the charges are in relation to the shooting that resulted in the death of his ex-girlfriend Rittmann on Sunday morning.

“It is alleged that the suspect fatally shot his girlfriend with a 9mm Makarov pistol in the head due to unknown relationship problems,” explained Namibian police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi.

The incident took place at Rittmann’s mother’s residence in Michael Angelo Street in Damara location, Katutura.
According to Rittmann’s close relatives the pair had just recently ended their five-year relationship.
According to a report that appeared in The Namibian daily newspaper, the suspect shot his girlfriend in front of their three-year-old before he fled the scene in his black Audi A3. Shikwambi confirmed that Neuaka surrendered himself to the Katutura police after the incident.

The prosecution objected to Neuaka being released on bail on grounds that the charge is of a serious nature, investigations are still at an infancy stage, and fear that Neuaka would interfere with investigations and witnesses. Furthermore, it would not be in the interest of justice and society for him to be released on bail, argued the prosecutor Victoria Thompson.

Neuaka’s defence attorney Vetu Uanivi informed the court that they would approach the court at a later stage for a formal bail application.

Magistrate Kubersky postponed the matter to March 5 to allow for further police investigations. Neuaka was remanded in custody and he will be incarcerated at the Katutura police station.

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