Windhoek-The man charged with the murder and burning of two young women at a rubbish dump in Pionierspark suburb in Windhoek made a third pre-trial appearance before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo late last week.
Lukas Nepela Nikodemus is charged with two counts of murder, one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice and one count of failing to lock away a firearm.
The state alleges that Nikodemus, 47, killed 29-year-old Johanie Naruses and 23-year-old Clementia de Wee during the period January 6 – 7, 2016 and set their dead bodies alight. The partly burned bodies were found by a security guard the morning of January 7, 2016 and Nikodemus was arrested the same day after a SIM card that linked him to her was found in the back pocket of the jeans of one of the deceased.
He will now be represented by Jan Wessels after his former lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht, withdrew from the trial citing irreconcilable differences.
Nikodemus was found fit to stand trial after Engelbrecht requested the magistrate’s court to send him for mental observation as he was not able to consult with Nikodemus to mount a proper defence.
State psychiatrist Ndahambelela Mthoko, who conducted the mental observation informed the court that Nikodemus does not have a history of mental illness. She further said that during the period Nikodemus was under observation at the Forensic Psychiatric Unit of Windhoek Central Hospital, he showed no signs or symptoms of mental illness.
During his first appearance in the magistrate’s court, Nikodemus told the magistrate he did not know how to plead as he had no recollection of what had happened.
State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi who will prosecute the case informed Judge Ndauendapo he still needed a supplementary reply to his pre-trial memoranda before the case can be allocated to a trial judge. The judge postponed the matter to the next pre-trial hearing date, March 22.