Murder Accused Hangs Self

One of the men accused of killing and robbing renowned Rietoog farmer Ellis Msututjike Tjepeuja committed suicide on Sunday morning.

Family members of Siegfried ‘Doddie’ Lewin confirmed that he hanged himself from a tree at MH Greeff Primary School in Khomasdal on Sunday.

His lifeless body was found on Sunday morning at around 06h00.

Arrested shortly after the discovery of Tjepeuja’s body, Lewin spent the better part of seven years in custody before he was granted medical bail last year after he contracted some form of aggressive TB of the spinal cord. He had since appeared in court on crutches.

Lewin and his co-accused Rayno Olivier are charged with one count of murder, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice and alternatively violating a dead body.

The charges stem from the gruesome murder of former Namibia Development Fund manager and farmer Tjipueja whose charred body was found near a bridge in the Rietoog area on June 28 2007 after having been missing for almost two weeks since his departure to his farm on June 14.

They are accused of murdering Tjipueja during the period of June 13 to 27 2007 near Rietoog in the Rehoboth district. They are also charged with robbing Tjipueja of N$20 000 in cash, an Isuzu pick-up (bakkie) and a cellphone by using force.

It is further alleged by the State that Lewin and Olivier set alight the body of Tjipueja after killing him and that they threatened witnesses with violence and extorted money from the wife of the deceased, Isolde Tjipueja, through intimidation.

Both men pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The State alleges that the two men acted with a common purpose at all times.

Their trial judge, Naomi Shivute, was supposed to give her ruling on a trial-within-a-trial concerning the admissibility of certain “confessions” Lewin allegedly made to the police on January 27.

It is not clear what will happen to the trial now that Lewin chose the easy way out.

It was not easy going for him though.

His co-accused, Olivier, was granted bail during a formal bail application in the Rehoboth Magistrate’s Court.

Lewin’s suicide could possibly open a new can of worms.

During her evidence in chief, Tjipueja’s widow made some startling revelations of bribery, extortion and various underhand dealings, such as that her deceased husband’s family allegedly tried to bribe Lewin with N$500 000 to point the finger at her as the one who masterminded her husband’s gruesome murder. Accusations that Lewin’s lawyer, Monty Karuaihe, at the time said would be confirmed by his client.

Aocate Winnie Christians represents Olivier.

Source : New Era