Namibia: Reformed Drug Dealer Testifies in Murder Trial

11 September 2020

A former drug lord yesterday told the Windhoek High Court he was approached by a street kid in 2011 who told him about two Americans who were allegedly looking for a handgun to buy.

Testifying before Judge Christie Liebenberg in the ongoing trial of two American murder accused Marcus Thomas and Kevan Townsend, Mohole Natangwe Nafuka confessed he was at the time involved in many activities, including drug peddling and the sale of illegal firearms. He said he was a drug kingpin who had his own crew or his boys, as he preferred calling them. During the evening hours of 1 January 2011, Nafuka said the street kid, who is only known as Ou Long, arrived in a sedan with two other people and told him two Americans were looking for a handgun with a full magazine to buy. He further said that he told one of his boys - as he was not approached directly - to give Ou Long his second cellphone number to call him if he got hold of a gun. However, he said, he was not serious about the transaction as his main business was selling crack cocaine and the money, he would receive for the gun was nothing compared to what he made in one evening from his drug trade, which was around N$30 000. He went on to say the two Americans called him non-stop during that night about the gun, but he was not interested. During cross-examination from Braam Cupido and Mbanga Siyomunji who are representing the Americans, the witness admitted that he never met with the "buyers" and only spoke with them over the phone. Cupido who is representing Thomas on instructions of Legal Aid asked the witness how he knew they were Americans, as he never met them. He responded Ou Long informed him they were Americans, adding their accent was also consistent with the nationality.

Siyomunji on behalf of Townsend told the witness he cannot say with certainty it was the accused he spoke to over the phone, which he agreed to. He further told Nafuka that his client denied ever meeting him or speaking to him over the phone. Thomas and Townsend are accused of killing Andre Heckmair with a single gunshot in the head on 7 January 2011 at Gusinde Street in Windhoek and robbing him of his cellphone and wallet containing at 100 Swiss francs. It is further alleged that they unlawfully imported two 9mm pistol barrels without a permit or alternatively possessed the 9mm barrels without a licence and the alleged possession of a 7.65mm pistol without a licence and unlawful possession of ammunition. They are further charged with intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice for allegedly removing a notebook from police custody after the police seized it as an exhibit and or burned, destroyed or otherwise dispose of some of the pages in the book. They are facing one count of murder, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of contravening the Ammunitions Act and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. The matter is continuing today. The State is represented by deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef. Both Thomas and Townsend remain in custody.

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