Dawson granted bail in colleague’s death

Windhoek-A Windhoek magistrate granted 38-year-old Julian Dawson bail of N$10 000 after the State failed to provide concrete evidence that Dawson intentionally killed his colleague, 35-year-old Sheku Bonifatius Tjihepo.

Dawson took the stand on a charge of murder on Friday in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court that was packed with curious members of the public, family members of Dawson and of the late Tjihepo. Presiding was Magistrate Venatius Alweendo.

It is alleged an argument broke out between Dawson and Tjihepo which resulted in Dawson taking out a gun and firing three shots at random while at local bar located in the Ausspannplatz area of Windhoek. Both the shooter and victim were in the company of colleagues and friends. It was stated that the two parties were both under the influence of alcohol.

A second fight then broke out between Dawson and another customer at the same bar where he once again fired three rounds into the air. It is alleged that Tjihepo then attempted to take the gun from Dawson and a wrestle ensued between the two and in the process Tjihepo was shot. Tjihepo died after one bullet penetrated his chest and another one in the back.

According to the police docket the two men arrived at the bar for a year-end work party that started off at another location.

The State strongly objected to bail on grounds that Dawson intentionally shot Tjihepo who was unarmed, and that Dawson has two other rifles which he might use to commit a similar offence.

Magistrate Alweendo ruled that even though there is a strong case against Dawson, the State failed to provide strong evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the level of objection for bail.

"The State failed to call witnesses to explain if the act was in self-defence, the reasons why the fight broke out and why the accused is labelled as a danger to society," said the magistrate.

Dawson was granted bail with strict conditions that he may not leave his residential home in Rehoboth between the hours of 7pm and 6am. He may also not leave the district of Rehoboth without the consent of the investigating officer.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia