17 January 2018

Namibia: Alleged Child Killer Gets Trial Date

THE trial of a Windhoek resident charged with having murdered a four-year-old boy in his care is scheduled to start in the High Court near the end of November.

The earliest dates when the defence lawyer representing murder accused Simon Dawid would be available for Dawid's trial are from 28 November to 14 December, judge Nate Ndauendapo was informed when Dawid appeared before him in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

Dawid (46), was back in court after the police rearrested him on Monday - seven weeks after judge Ndauendapo issued a warrant for his arrest. The warrant was issued when Dawid failed to appear in court on 28 November.

Defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji told the judge yesterday that Dawid was in a Windhoek hospital from 26 November to 13 December, after he was attacked by thugs who hit him over the head with a brick. He suffered a skull fracture in the attack, the judge was told.

Having been discharged from hospital, Dawid came to see Siyomunji on 15 December to explain the reason for his absence from court, but because his firm was closing for the holiday, he could not arrange for Dawid to appear in court at that time, Siyomunji said.

Dawid is due to stand trial on a charge of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.

The state alleges that he murdered a boy whom he had raised as his son, Athanosius Katholo Reeves Simbo, in his house in Katutura on 5 July 2015.

The four-year-old Simbo allegedly suffered fatal head injuries when he was assaulted by Dawid, who had been in a relationship with Simbo's mother at the time of his birth, after Dawid heard rumours that he was not the boy's biological father.

Simbo had remained in Dawid's care after Dawid's relationship with the boy's mother ended in 2012.

In its indictment, the state alleges that after Simbo's death, DNA tests confirmed that Dawid indeed was not the boy's biological father.

Dawid denied guilt during an appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in Katutura in March last year, when he was also granted bail of N$4 000.

His bail was cancelled, and the bail deposit forfeited to the state on 12 December.

Having heard Siyomunji's explanation for Dawid's failure to appear in court on 28 November, judge Ndauendapo cancelled the warrant of arrest, and ordered that Dawid be released from custody again. He was warned to return to court for the start of his trial on 28 November.

State advocate Cliff Lutibezi represented the prosecution yesterday.

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