4 December 2012

Namibia: NBC Cameraman On Witness Stand

Windhoek — National broadcaster (NBC) cameraman Ushona Hiskia found himself in the witness stand yesterday, as a witness of the defence team for Romeo Schiefer who faces two counts of murder and a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Schiefer (23) is accused of brutally killing his parents, Frans and Francina Schiefer, on January 19, 2008 in their home in Khomasdal. The deceased were both 50 years old.

The defence led by Winnie Christians asked for Hiskia's testimony, having raised doubt that the footprints of sneakers found at the crime scene in the house did indeed belong to Schiefer.

Advocate Belinda Wantenaar leads the state prosecution team.

Hiskia testified that he did receive a call tipping him off about a murder that had just taken place in Khomasdal on the night of January 18, 2008. He was in the vicinity of Katutura when he took the call just before midnight. He then went to the Schiefer house where he found members of the Special Field Force. He took film shots of the crime scene after getting permission from the Serious Crimes Unit, Hiskia testified.

Judge Naomi Shivute is now set to hear submissions from the state prosecution team and the defence on April 15, 2013.

Schiefer allegedly made a confession four years ago after his arrest, in which he admitted that he murdered both his father and mother. He later retracted the confession.

Frans Schiefer was shot once in the head, while his wife Francina was shot nine times and also stabbed with a knife.

The parents were found lying dead in their bedroom. Schiefer was arrested on the day of the murders.

It was immediately after his arrest that he is said to have confessed to killing his parents, the prosecution claim.

However, Schiefer later claimed that the confession was not voluntary and that the police officers involved in his interrogation coerced him to make the incriminating statement. Judge Shivute had nevertheless ruled that the confession remains admissible in court.

In the confession, read by Chief Inspector Gert Viljoen to the court, Schiefer said he failed his Grade 10 examinations in 2006 and repeated the grade in 2007 at Namcol. "I failed to hand in my last projects in four subjects. This made my mother angry as she said that I wasted her money," reads the confession. He claimed that his mother swore at him and accused him of not wanting to learn and that he wasted her money and was just walking around doing nothing.

"That triggered me and I decided that enough is enough. I went to the drawer where the knives were kept and I took one," states the confession.

Schiefer admitted that he then stabbed his mother. "I don't know where I stabbed her and I went to my father's room where he was asleep. I closed the door, went to the cupboard and took his pistol. I was crying and a teardrop fell on him and he turned. I first shot him through the pillow, which I held in front of the pistol," reads Schiefer's confession presented by Viljoen.

According to the confession, Schiefer then went out of the bedroom and found his mother still in the kitchen. "I shot three or four shots through the door. I forced the door open and I went in. I found that my mother was now in the bedroom and the door was locked. I kicked the door open and went inside. I fired one shot in the air and my mother stormed at me and I shot at her several times," continued the chilling confession.

Schiefer said that there was no argument between him and his mother, adding that he did not kill his parents. "I loved them, they also loved me," he said.

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