Namibia: High Court Trial Over Fatal Shooting of Young Man

A senior official in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration is due to stand trial in the High Court in connection with a shooting incident in which a young man was fatally wounded in Windhoek in May last year.

Facing charges of murder and discharging a firearm in a public place, Likius Valombola (54) attended his first pretrial hearing in the Windhoek High Court yesterday. He was told to return to court for a second pretrial appearance on 19 September, and his bail was extended until then.

Valombola was granted bail in an amount of N$15 000 at the end of May last year - three days after a 25-year-old man, Helao Kapembe Ndjaba, had died in a Windhoek Hospital where he had been treated for 10 days following a shooting incident in Katutura.

Valombola, who is the commissioner for refugees in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, claimed during a bail hearing in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in Katutura that he fired two warning shots when a group of people started banging on his car with their hands after he had asked them to move their vehicle out of the road, where it was blocking traffic. He also said he did not intend to shoot Ndjaba.

During the bail hearing, a police officer involved in the investigation of the case testified that according to witnesses at the scene, Ndjaba was waiting for a taxi when Valombola and the people whose car was in the road became involved in an altercation. Ndjaba was an innocent bystander at the scene when he was shot, the officer told the court.

He added that Valombola left the scene after the shooting, and did not report the incident to the police, However, he was traced after someone followed his car, took down the vehicle's registration number, and conveyed that information to the police.

Ndjaba was shot twice in the head, the state is alleging in the indictment setting out the charges against Valombola.

Valombola was a passenger in a car driven by his son when they encountered another car that was stationary in the road due to mechanical problems, it is also recounted in the state's indictment.

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