Cuca shop gunman gets 25 years in prison

A man who went on a violent and deadly rampage with a shotgun at cuca shops in the Omusati region nine years ago has now received an effective prison term of 25 years, after being convicted on 16 criminal charges in the Oshakati High Court.

Josua Nandjebo (40) first committed housebreaking and theft to get hold of a shotgun that was kept in a cuca shop, and then used that firearm to terrorise the community in which he grew up, lived and worked, acting judge Danie Small recounted during Nandjebo’s sentencing in the Oshakati High Court on Friday last week.

After his rampage at cuca shops at the village Onamhindi in the Okalongo area of the Omusati region on 6 June 2014, Nandjebo spent the past nine years in custody – a period that Small said he was taken into account when deciding Nandjebo’s sentences on the 16 charges on which he was found guilty in March this year.

Small also said he had taken into account the fact that a panel of mental health professionals involved in a psychiatric evaluation of Nandjebo concluded that he has an anti-social personality disorder.

That is a condition characterised by behavioural patterns involving transgressions of rules and norms of society without concern about the impact of a person’s actions on other people and without regard for the feelings of others.

Nandjebo was found guilty on one charge of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, two charges of housebreaking with intent to steal and theft, two charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, two counts of ill-treating or torturing animals, and a count of discharging a firearm and damaging property.

During the events in which he was involved at Onamhindi on 6 June 2014, Nandjebo used a shotgun to fire a shot at his then girlfriend, Elizabeth Nghishilenapo, who was left injured when she was struck.

After that, Nandjebo repeatedly reloaded the single-shot firearm and fired at least 19 more shots at two cuca shops and at cattle kept in a kraal in the area.

When the shooting was over, 20 spent shotgun shells were picked up at the scene.

A 41-year-old man who was standing in the doorway of one of the cuca shops, Otto Namwenyo, was killed when one of the shots fired by Nandjebo struck him in the chest.

Another shot fired by Nandjebo struck a woman in her left eye. She lost her sight in the eye as a result of the injury.
Eight people were injured by shots fired by Nandjebo.

He also shot four head of cattle, and entered a cuca shop from which he stole a bottle of rum, a bottle of wine and cigarettes.

Small sentenced Nandjebo, who was making a living as a self-employed joiner before his arrest, to 15 years’ imprisonment over the murder of Namwenyo.

On the charge of attempted murder involving Nghishilenapo, Nandjebo was sentenced to a prison term of three years, while he received a sentence of two years’ imprisonment on the attempted murder charge involving the woman who lost sight in her one eye.

Nandjebo also received effective sentences of two years in prison on the other six charges of attempted murder, a prison term of one year on the two counts of housebreaking and theft, one year of imprisonment for the possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, a jail term of six months for ill-treating or torturing animals and six months in prison for discharging a firearm and damaging property.

Defence lawyer Wilmarie Horn represented Nandjebo during his trial, which started in August 2021.

The state was represented by deputy prosecutor general Lucious Matota.

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