Maria Amakali & Selma Ikela
WINDHOEK – Following two days of an intense battle to be freed on bail, Commissioner for Refugees Likius Valombola got his freedom, at least in the interim, after the court granted him bail of N$15 000 yesterday.
The court’s decision, which came four days after Helao Ndjaba died from the bullet wounds allegedly inflicted upon him by Valombola, did not sit well with the deceased’s family and friends who staged a demonstration at court prior to the bail verdict.
Ndjaba, 25, died on Monday evening nine days after he was shot during an alleged road rage altercation with Valombola, 53.
The former Nanso national executive committee has been on life support in the Katutura State Hospital’s ICU since the incident in Katutura’s Ombili area on May 19. Handing down judgement at Katutura Magistrate’s Court yesterday afternoon, Magistrate Antonius Alweendo noted that there was no strong evidence before court that warranted continued detention of Valombola while he awaited trial.
The state was objecting bail on grounds that it would not have been in the best interest of the public or administration of justice. It also cited a possibility that Valombola might abscond. The state also believed it had a strong case against Valombola, which may result in a stiff sentence for his alleged acts.
The court believes that there is overwhelming evidence that Valombola did not aim at Ndjaba as he was not part of the 10 people that he allegedly had an altercation with.
“Clearly, such evidence on a first impression points to a prima facie case of culpable homicide, which is a competent verdict to a charge of murder. In light of the above finding it stands to reason that the state-based evidence before court has no strong case against the accused on a charge of murder.”
The court painted two police officers (Nampol’s Chief Inspector Rector Sandema and Detective Sergeant Moses Shivolo) who took the witness stand during the bail hearing as bad witnesses. The two officers were in most parts unreliable, contradictory, biased and subjective, the court found.
“The two failed to answer fundamental questions which were pertinent to the determination of the bail application.”
In light of such, the court accepted Valombola’s version of events as his version in the eyes of the court appeared to be reasonable and possibly true and free of material contradictions and was not under the influence of alcohol on the night of the incident.
The state failed to convince the court that Valombola is a violent or dangerous person and if released he would disturb public order or undermine public peace or security. “There is no evidence before court that suggest that once released on bail, Valombola will endanger the safety of the public or any particular person,” noted Shapumba.