Communities Enraged Over Oshakati Court Decision

Members of the Afoti and Onakapya communities were furious when the case against murder accused Simon Paulus was postponed in the Oshakati Regional Court this week. Paulus’ trial was to continue on Tuesday with his formal bail application hearing but proceedings were postponed to the next day, Wednesday.

The state prosecutor Tatelo Lusepani informed the court that the hearing could not proceed because Paulus’ lawyer Finias Nsundano was representing another client in the Outapi Regional Court, hence his absence.

Paulus is alleged to have stabbed to death Sem Johannes Kalola with a knife at Onakapya location on February 6 2013. According to witnesses of the Afoti and Onakapya communities Paulus on the fatal day beat his mother prior to stabbing Kalola.

A group of 22 people from the two villages – who had travelled to attend the court session – told New Era that the court should inform witnesses in time about a case being postponed to avoid unnecessary costs.

“We are unhappy with the case being postponed because we have been here since eight in the morning and were told to wait. It is disappointing because we spent an excessive amount of money on fuel. We travel up to 150km to and from Oshakati,” said Reinhold Nambabi on behalf of the group.

Members of the two communities, among whom Paulus is notorious for his various crimes, also alleged that Paulus raped and almost beat to death an elderly woman, Selma Kamati, before stealing N$2000 from her.

Magistrate Bongani Ndlovu had however acquitted Paulus of the rape charge when he last appeared in court on February 18 this year as the key witness was declared unfit to follow court proceedings.

According to a medical report handed to the court from the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital’s psychiatric department, Ndilimeke Haukongo who was the key witness in the rape case was declared mentally unstable to follow the court hearing.

The group also expressed their shock that Paulus was acquitted of the rape charge. According to them the key witness Haukongo, who has been a resident of Afoti for a long time, was never seen to act insane. “The justice system has failed us,” said Nambabi on behalf of the group.

Villagers of Afoti and Nakapya threatened to take the law into their own hands should Paulus who is alleged to have committed numerous crimes in the area be granted bail.

Nambabi related that a meeting was held with the communities, where it was unanimously agreed that they do not want Paulus in their midst. “Perhaps the court should accommodate him if they want to grant him bail,” yelled one group member.

“We conducted a meeting with about 450 members on Monday who will be disturbed should this man be granted bail. All we want is justice to prevail because this man has done enough harm,” said Nambabi.

The group related to New Era that Paulus and his mother moved to Afoti to seek refuge after fleeing from Omusheshe village near Ongwediva where he allegedly also committed gruesome crimes.

Source : New Era