Selma Ikela /Maria Amakali
Windhoek-The University of Namibia student accused of stabbing to death a 19-year-old man over N$20 in Khomasdal this week was yesterday granted bail of N$1,500 by the Katutura Magistrate’s Court. The 25-year-old Simon Sam Ileni Shoongeleni did not have to struggle to raise money for the bail, as fellow students who had come out in numbers to render emotional support at the court, had pooled together nearly N$2,000 for his bail.
The money was collected in crisp and cramped N$10, N$20, N$50 notes and coins, and collected in a plastic shopping bag. The total amount was then immediately tallied in the corridors of the courts.
It amounted to N$1935.50, and handed over to Shoongeleni’s father at the court.
Students cheered as Shoongeleni, shielding his face with a black blazer, walked past to climb onto the university bus parked outside the court.
According to substantial facts contained on Shoongeleni’s charge sheet, he unlawfully and intentionally killed Gaseb by throwing him with a stone and stabbing him a knife. The facts further indicate that the incident occurred at or near Unam Khomasdal campus on Monday.
According to the police Shoongeleni had gone to the nearby shops where he encountered Fidel Jacob Gaseb, 19, who demanded N$20. Shoongeleni is said to have said he had no money to spare but Gaseb is alleged to have become persistent, and had harassed and followed Shoongeleni from the shops back to the university campus in Khomasdal where Shoongeleni is a hostel resident.
At the campus entrance Gaseb is alleged to have become violent, and had threatened Shoongeleni with a knife, and in a scuffle, the knife fell on the ground. “The suspect [allegedly] picked it up and fatally stabbed the deceased twice,” police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi said earlier.
Shoongeleni is a third year junior primary education student. Unam’s Khomasdal student representative council (SRC) for finance Petrus Kambamba told New Era that students came up with two contribution forms, one for students and another for community members as means of collecting money to help Shoongeleni.
Shoongeleni’s defense attorney, Henry Shimutwikeni told the court, which was packed up to the rafters, that Shoongeleni is a Namibia Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) beneficiary and is in no financial position to pay a hefty bail amount. The state initially proposed N$2000 bail.
“The charge arises from a dispute over N$20 and as such N$2000 is not an amount he (Shoongeleni) can afford. He will endeavour to raise N$1000,” noted Shimutwikeni.
Magistrate Michelle Kubersky said the court takes into account the seriousness of the allegation as well as the circumstances of the accused.
As a condition for his release, Shoongeleni was warned not to interfere with ongoing police investigation and state witnesses.
One of Shoongeleni’s relative expressed appreciation to students who contributed money and showed up at court for Shoongeleni. “We really value, thank and appreciate their contribution,” said a woman who identified herself as Shoongeleni’s aunt.
Meanwhile, students who came to court expressed concerned about safety on and around Khomasdal campus.
Matheus Shilumbu from Unam’s Khomasdal campus said there is a long list of students being robbed each month. “Students are suggesting we get our own ATMs on campus. ATMs are the main cause of these robberies. Thieves are targeting students from ATMs near our mall,” stated Shilumbu.