City Centre shooter still has not secured legal representation

A former Global Fund employee who allegedly shot dead a former colleague and wounded another in Windhoek in January this year, has not yet secured legal representation to defend him during the proceedings of his trial.

This came to light when the 33-year-old Simasiku Simataa Simasiku made his second appearance in the Windhoek High Court without legal representation during a pre-trial conference of case management on Thursday.

An official from the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid- Shawn Gariseb- informed the court on Thursday morning that the directorate has indeed received the accused' s application for a State-funded defence lawyer, but the application is incomplete and their office needs more information.

In the result, Simasiku was, thereafter, ordered by the court to reply again while in the presence of Gariseb.

The case was postponed to 17 October 2019 in order to enable the Legal Aid directorate enough time to process the application as well as to formally appoint and instruct a defence lawyer to come and defend Simasiku during future court proceedings and when trial proper begins before court.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef is representing the prosecution in the matter.

On 16 July 2019, Simasiku appeared before Windhoek Magistrate Vanessa Stanley, when his case was transferred from the Windhoek Magistrate's Court to the Windhoek High Court as per a decision taken by the Office of the Prosecutor-General.

Simasiku was informed of the PG's decision by prosecutor Laura Mabuku while in the presence of his former defence lawyer, Henry Shimutwikeni, who only represented him during appearances in the Magistrate's Court.

Simasiku remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, with no option to post bail after a failed formal bail attempt.

On 28 January 2019, Simasiku allegedly walked into the City Centre office building and shot the two victims.

One victim, 58-year-old Sarah Mwilima, a director of the Global Fund programme management unit, died at the scene. The other victim, Ester Nepolo, was wounded and received medical treatment at a local hospital.

Simasiku previously worked at the programme management unit under the Global Fund Directorate based within the Ministry of Health and Social Services, along with the two victims, and was employed at the ministry's Primary Health Care unit at the time of the incident.

The accused handed himself over to the Wanaheda Police Station shortly after the incident.

The motive for the shooting is still unknown.

Simasiku appeared in person without legal representation on Thursday.

Source: Namibia Press Agency