n Maria Amakali
WINDHOEK – The Regional Court in Katutura last Thursday convicted a man who was on trial for gunning down a man with a police firearm nine years ago.
Magistrate Claudia Claasen found Ipende Malenga guilty on all four charges in connection with Elago Tegelela’s death in 2009.
Malenga was on trial on a charge of murder, discharging a firearm, possession of a firearm without a licence and possession of ammunition.
Tegelela died from a penetrating gunshot to the neck on the night of December 24, 2009, when an argument between him and Malenga turned violent in Outapi Street, Havana, Windhoek.
The prosecution charged that Malenga intentionally killed Tegelela. However, Malenga who pleaded not guilty to the charges on October 18, 2012, said that it was all a mistake.
In his defence he said Tegelela’s death was an accident as he was struck by a bullet when the gun went off while they were fighting for it.
According to him the gun belongs to his friend who is a police officer. He allegedly had it because he wanted to return it to him, but he was not at home at the time.
However, one of the eyewitness testified Malenga shot Tegelela an hour after their argument had ceased and Tegelela was not armed.
According to the witness, the fight was physical and during the fight a firearm fell from Malenga’s pocket. The witness picked it up hoping Malenga did not see the gun. After the fist fight was over, Malenga went back to retrieve the firearm from the witness.
The witness said Malenga then went back home for a change of clothes. The witness later heard two shots being fired by Malenga.
The witness further testified that Malenga drank two glasses of alcohol before he walked towards Tegelela who was walking towards him.
“I saw the accused cocking his firearm and moving towards the deceased. The accused pointed a gun in the deceased’s face. After that I heard a gunshot go off,” testified the witness.
Malenga handed himself over to the police after the shooting.
Magistrate Classen postponed the case for submissions before sentencing. Malenga’s bail was withdrawn and he was remanded in custody to await sentencing.