Attempt to delay trial over Walvis Bay businessman’s death fails

An attempt by key accused in the killing of Walvis Bay businessman Hans-JAlrg MAlller in June 2016 to delay the start of the proceedings of the murder trial for eight (8) or 12 months, failed in the High Court here on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Panduleni Gotlieb, through his Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Jarmaine Muchali, on Tuesday brought an urgent application before court in which he asked presiding High Court Judge Dinah Usiku to put the start of the trial on hold for eight or 12 months because he wanted enough time to peruse the records of the State's disclosure before he could plead to the charges against him.

Gotlieb's application for a postponement of eight or 12 months failed when it was refused in a judgement (ruling) handed down by Judge Usiku on Thursday morning.

According to the Judge's ruling, the start of the proceedings of the trial has already experienced several postponements in 2018 and 2019 and Gotlieb's request to merely peruse the records of the State's disclosure is just another delaying tactic.

' Panduleni Gotlieb's request for a postponement of eight or 12 months is unreasonable and is only meant to delay the proceedings of this trial. This request is also meant to just frustrate the other four (4) accused who are ready for the proceedings. Panduleni Gotlieb is not charged with an ordinary street crime. He is facing very serious charges which includes murder, ' said the Judge as she refused to grant the request for a postponement.

Gotlieb is charged in the matter over MAlller's death alongside with 29-year-old David Tashiya; Malakia Shiweda, 28; David Shekundja, 27; and Ally Ndapuka Hinaivali, 29.

Gotlieb is accused number one in the matter and was out on bail for three other murder charges prior to the businessman's death.

The five accused men are now scheduled to return to the Windhoek High Court on 16 October 2019 for the start of the trial.

Furthermore, the court has also seriously warned accused Tashiya to again apply to the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid for another lawyer before the commencement of trial on 16 October 2019 after he terminated the services of his former defence lawyer Mese Tjituri on Tuesday this week.

The late MAlller was allegedly attacked and shot in the stomach during an armed robbery at his house in Walvis Bay between 16 and 17 June 2016, leading to his death in hospital a few days later.

The five accused are charged with counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm and housebreaking with intent to rob, among other charges.

The five men remain in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility's trial-awaiting section since their arrest, with no option to post bail.

Defence lawyers Mposikeng Dube, Trevor Brockerhoff and Titus Ipumbu are defending accused Shiweda, Shekundja and Hinaivali.

Source: Namibia Press Agency