Father denies murdering children

WINDHOEK: A father who allegedly killed his two children in the capital during December 2009 on Tuesday denied any involvement in the crimes.

Jonas Penovanhu Shinana entered a not guilty plea to two charges of murder at the start of his trial before High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo here on Tuesday morning.

The 30-year-old former security guard entered his pleas in the presence of his State-sponsored defence lawyer Bradley Basson.

Shinana has not yet disclosed the basis of his pleas, as he will only do so at the close of the prosecution’s case.

Residents of Mersey Street in Windhoek’s Wanaheda residential area, where he resides, were left shocked when Shinana allegedly killed his two biological children – Matheus Shinana, six, and Emilia Naatye Shinana, four – by cutting their throats with a knife between 23 and 24 December 2009.

In his testimony on Tuesday, Warrant Officer Petrus Mujoro of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Crime Scene Unit confirmed that the two deceased children’s throats were cut with a sharp knife.

According to Mujoro, Shinana was found lying on a mattress next to the children, and he had cuts on his hands.

He was also found with a rope tied around his neck as he allegedly unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself, but failed after the rope broke.

Mujoro will be cross-examined by Shinana’s defence lawyer during the course of Tuesday and Wednesday with regards to this evidence.

Shinana is charged with two counts of murder, which are both being dealt with under the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act (Act Four) of 2003.

He has remained in custody at the Windhoek Central Prison’s holding cells with no option to post bail since his arrest in December 2009.

He is set to return to court on Wednesday for the continuation of the trial.

Basson is defending Shinana on the instructions of the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid.

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