Ex-soldier on trial for murder to plead to charge in June

Johannes Neuaka, a former soldier who stands accused of murdering the mother of his child at her mother's house in Katutura in January 2018, will plead to the murder charge against him in June this year (2020).

The 39-year-old former soldier made another appearance before High Court Judge Naomi Shivute during a pre-trial conference of case management review on Wednesday when his alleged murder case was postponed to 09 June 2020 for plea and trial.

Neuaka's alleged murder trial is set down to run until 14 June this year (2020) as per agreement reached between the former soldier's government-funded defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji and State Advocate Martino Olivier in court on Wednesday morning.

In addition, an order was also issued by the court directing the Police officers to take the former soldier to a private medical practitioner of his own choice for further medical examination because he is now reportedly diagonized having a a foreign object inside his stomach.

Neuaka remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility's trial-awaiting section with no option to post bail until 09 June 2020 for the start of the trial.

In the matter, Neuaka, a former soldier in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), is facing a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act of 2003, a count of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence and another charge of negligent discharge of a firearm while in a public place.

All charges emanate from the gruesome death of his girlfriend and mother to Neuaka's child, Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann.

The 25-year-old Rittman was allegedly shot in the head on 21 January 2018 by the former solidier.

The late Rittman was allegedly killed in her mother's yard in Michael Angelo Street in Damara location, Katutura.

The prosecution is alleging that Neuaka intentionally killed his late girlfriend of five years and mother of his child when he shot her in the head that fateful day.

According to a police crime report issued at the time of the incident, it is alleged that a 13-year-old witness saw Neuaka pull out a gun, aim at the deceased's head and fire it while in her mother's backyard.

He denied guilt saying Rittmann's death was accidental.

During his failed formal bail hearing in 2018, Neuaka testified that Rittmann accidentally got shot when he was allegedly showing her a gun that he had just picked up from their yard moments after he dropped off their son who had spent the night with him.

Rittman died on the scene.

Source: Namibia Press Agency