27 February 2013

Namibia: Lynching Mob Suspects Denied Bail

Rundu — The Rundu Magistrate's Court yesterday objected to bail for the nine people who were arrested in connection with the murder of a 52-year-old security guard, Peter Nyambali, in a brutal mob attack on Sunday evening.

The accused are Edward Mashika (33), Johannes Shapi (63), Pontianus Shivambo (59), Theofilia Lingwe (51), Lukas Ndjamba (32), Christophine Zangata (50), David Nyangana (22), David Kasinga (38) and Irmhilde Mashika (50).

Theofilia Lingwe (51) is the mother of Festus Lingwe, who was allegedly shot dead by Nyambali following an argument between the two men. It is alleged the mob set upon Nyambali after he shot and killed Lingwe following an argument on the premises of the Mashare Irrigation Training Centre, it is alleged.

The spat between the two men is presumed to have started at a local cuca shop on Sunday afternoon. The accused were remanded in custody until their next court appearance on May 06 to allow for further police investigation and to allow the accused to apply for legal assistance.

Theofilia Lingwe, Christophine Zangata and Irmhilde Mashika opted to conduct their own defence, while the remaining six chose to apply for legal assistance.

During the court proceedings, the State objected to bail being granted to the accused on the grounds that the investigation is still in its initial stages and it would not be in the interest of justice to do so.

They are however eligible to lodge formal bail applications. Prosecutor Elina Hashipara represented the State during the court session. Asked whether Theofilia Lingwe would be released temporarily to attend the funeral of her son, Kavango Police Regional Commander, Commissioner Olavi Auanga told New Era yesterday that the family would have to bury Festus Lingwe in the absence of his mother, since she was denied bail.

"It is rather unfortunate that things turned out this way, but as I said at the scene, the incident is a very serious one, therefore the police must maintain order," he said. "Bail has been rejected by the court so there is actually nothing we can do, maybe they will still come and consult."

Norman Tjombe of Tjombe-Elago law firm told New Era during a telephonic interview yesterday that arrangements could be made with the police for the accused to be released to attend her son's burial. "There is no legal grounds for this, it is merely on humanitarian grounds. Normally arrangements can be made for the police to accompany the accused to the funeral," said Tjombe.

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