Bail Ruling Upsets Mother

THE mother of Elton Riekert (20), who was brutally murdered in September 2014 at Keetmanshoop by a gang of six, says she is upset by a court decision which granted bail to three of the seven suspects last week.

Expressing her dismay over the bail ruling, Magrieta Riekert with tears rolling down her cheeks, said it is not “fair” that her son’s murderers have been granted bail while others facing petty crimes are denied bail.

“What is even more frustrating is that I was not even called to the witness stand to oppose bail, ” said Riekert, demanding that Magistrate Philanda Blockstein-Christiaan be recused from her son’s murder trial. Blockstein-Christiaan explained that she used her judicial discretion during the bail application hearing in granting bail of N$ 1 500 to Lorensius Kooitjie (21), Revival Kooitjie (18) and Brandon Jossop (20).

“People should not personalise things,” Blockstein-Christiaan remarked, adding that any accused person has a right to liberty until proven guilty.

Blockstein-Christiaan argued that the prosecution could not give enough evidence why the suspects are a flight risk, but added that the prosecutor also argued that the suspects might interfere with the investigation. However, this did not count as the court was told that the police investigation had been completed.

Blockstein-Christiaan revealed that the suspects have not pleaded on the alleged murder charges since being in police custody since September last year. The other suspects implicated in the brutal murder of Riekert are Jamee Benito Yabril Afrikaner (20), Daniel Mathewis (18) and Edmund Reginald Coetzee (18). It is alleged that the suspects stabbed Elton Riekert with an unknown object in his chest, chopped him with a panga and then stoned him, causing his death.

Riekert was rushed to the Windhoek State Hospital after being admitted to a local hospital, but succumbed to his injuries at Rehoboth.

Source : The Namibian