City Centre shooting accused still without lawyer

A former Global Fund employee who allegedly shot dead a former colleague and wounded another in Windhoek in January 2019, is still without legal representation.

Initially, the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid on 14 November 2019 instructed and appointed local defence lawyer Henry Shimutwikeni to defend accused Simataa Simasiku when his alleged murder trial begins in the High Court.

However, Shimutwikeni parted ways with his client in January 2020 after the two men could not get a common understanding of how to proceed with the matter during their consultations held at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility during November 2019.

Simataa Simasiku made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a pre-trial conference of case management review.

The defence lawyer parted ways with his client after the two men could not get a common understanding of how to proceed with the matter during their consultations held at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility last year.

As a result, the High Court issued an order that the matter be postponed to 13 February 2020 to allow the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid enough time to appoint and instruct a new defence lawyer for the accused person.

State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi represented the prosecution in the matter on Thursday.

On 16 July 2019, Simasiku appeared before Windhoek Magistrate Vanessa Stanley, when his alleged shooting 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.

The accused remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, with no option to post bail after a failed formal bail attempt in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.

On 28 January 2019, Simasiku allegedly walked into the City Centre office building and shot the two victims where he was employed at the Global Fund programme management unit based within the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

One victim, 58-year-old Sarah Mwilima, a director of that unit, died at the scene. The other victim, Ester Nepolo, was wounded.

The motive for the shooting is still unknown.

Source: Namibia Press Agency