Noordhoek murder case postponed for judgement

The bail hearing of 22-year-old Richard Swartz, who stands accused of stabbing a 45-year-old man to death here in June last year, was on Friday concluded and postponed to 25 October 2019 for judgement.

Swartz appeared in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Melissa Mungunda, who postponed his case.

At the start of the accused's bail hearing on 30 September, State Representative Frederick van der Colf informed the court that the State opposed bail because it has a strong case against Swartz and because the witnesses are all known to Swartz.

Van der Colf at the time also said the State fears that the accused might abscond.

Giving his submissions to court on Friday Van der Colf said it is clear that the accused will abscond once released on bail as he failed to give an address to the police where resides and that he run away from the scene and was arrested some 80 kilometres outside Keetmanshoop.

Legal aid defence lawyer Maruschka January in her submissions said his client has indicated his willingness to report himself to the closest police station to his residence.

'Such a condition can be imposed to monitor the movement of the accused and to restrict such movement,' she said.

She added that it must be emphasised that even when there is a strong case against the accused the presumption of innocence still operates in favor of the accused.

'It is submitted that issue of guilt or innocence should not be determined at a bail application. The accused has been in custody for a one year and three months, it is anticipated that the accused trial will start sometime next year meaning that if he is refused bail he will suffer further incarceration until next year,' January stressed.

Swartz allegedly stabbed Moses Diba in the chest, causing his death at a liquor store in the Noordhoek residential area on 29 June 2018.

He allegedly grabbed a knife from Diba, who was busy assaulting his (Swartz's) ex-girlfriend and stabbed him. Diba died on the spot.

Swartz remains in custody at the police holding cells in Keetmanshoop until his next court appearance.

Source: Namibia Press Agency