Namibia: Alleged City Centre Shooter Without Defence Lawyer

A former Global Fund employee who allegedly killed a former colleague and wounded another in a shooting in Windhoek in January this year, does not yet have legal representation for his trial.

This came to light when Simataa Simasiku (32) made a first appearance in the Windhoek High Court for a pretrial hearing yesterday.

Simasiku informed judge Christie Liebenberg that he has applied to the Ministry of Justice's Directorate of Legal Aid for a state-funded defence lawyer, but has not yet received any response. However, an official from the directorate told the court their office had not yet received an application from Simasiku.

The judge directed Simasiku to apply again for legal aid, and his case was postponed to 19 September to allow the directorate enough time to process his application.

Simasiku's case was transferred to the High Court when he made an appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court on 16 July.

He is due to be prosecuted on charges of murder, attempted murder and discharging a firearm in a public place.

The state is alleging that he entered the City Centre building in Windhoek, where the offices of the Global Fund and where he had previously been employed, are situated, while armed with a 9mm pistol on 28 January. Simasiku allegedly went to the floor where the offices of two of his former colleagues, Sarah Mwilima and Ester Nepolo, were, and fired three or four shots at Mwilima, hitting her in the chest, neck and arm, and killing her. The prosecution is further charging that he also fired at least one shot at Nepolo, hitting her in the neck.

Simasiku fled the scene after the shooting, and drove to a police station in the city later during the same day to report the shooting and hand himself over as well as hand in his firearm and ammunition to the police.

Simasiku has been kept in custody since then. A request by him to be granted bail was turned down in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in June.

- Nampa/Own report

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