Windhoek-Two of the six suspects arrested on Monday for an attempted armed robbery at Shoprite-Usave, Katutura were denied bail in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Petrus Akapala, 38, and Elifas Amutenya, 47, made their initial court appearance before Magistrate Michelle Kubersky. Akapala and his co-accused Amutenya are being charged with one count of robbery, attempted murder and the possession of ammunition and firearm without a license.
Akapala and Amutenya are the only two of the six suspects that appeared in court as one of their co-accused is in hospital, two are still on the run and another succumbed to his injuries and died on the day of the botched robbery.
During their court appearance the state objected to them being released on bail. “According to the investigative officer, the accused have committed similar offenses in the past and there is a risk of re-offending,” argued state prosecutor Muriel van Zyl.
In addition, the state fears that Akapala and his co-accused might interfere with state witnesses and ongoing investigations should they be released on bail.
The pair were arrested after an attempted armed robbery that turned bloody and deadly on Monday. According to police reports, the suspects who were six in total allegedly entered Shoprite Usave supermarket in Katutura’s Soweto location, armed and wearing masks. The group allegedly demanded they be given money. The public swiftly alerted the police who came to the rescue of the workers.
It is alleged that the moment Akapala and his co-accused saw the police they started shooting which consequently resulted in an exchange of gunfire.
Court documents stated that during the attempted robbery, the suspects assaulted the store manager Olivia Shashitwako. The suspects had intentions to kill Shashitwako when they pointed a loaded pistol at her and had grabbed her by the neck.
Akapala and his co-accused were allegedly in an unlawful possession, without licenses of three pistols of which one pistol had no serial number, according to the substantial facts of the charge sheet. Akapala and his co-accused who opted to conduct their own defense have denied guilt in relation to the allegations.
As they were denied bail they were remanded in custody until their next appearance on May 18.