All of the five men charged with carrying out a fatal house robbery at Walvis Bay in June 2016 were at the harbour town on the day their alleged crime was committed, one of the five accused has testified in the Windhoek High Court.
With this testimony that he gave on Wednesday and yesterday, Malakia Shiweda, who is the fifth accused in a trial that started before judge Dinnah Usiku in August 2021, contradicted the versions given by his four co-accused when they testified in their own defence.
The first four accused in the trial – Panduleni Gotlieb, David Tashiya, David Shekundja and Elly Ndapuka Hinaivali – have all told the court they were not at Walvis Bay during the night of 16 to 17 June, when a resident of the town, Hans-Jörg Möller, was fatally injured during an armed home invasion.
Möller (50) was shot in the abdomen after a group of men invaded his home. He died in a hospital the next day.
The five accused on trial before Usiku are charged with counts of murder, attempted murder, housebreaking and robbery with aggravating circumstances, conspiring to commit housebreaking and armed robbery, and possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence. They have denied guilt on all charges.
The state is alleging that goods valued at about N$175 000 were stolen from Möller’s house during the robbery, and that his wife was assaulted and seriously injured by their assailants.
Testifying on Wednesday, Ndapuka said he did not know Shiweda and that he was in Windhoek when the fatal robbery was committed at Walvis Bay.
Shiweda, however, told the court Ndapuka was his best friend after they became friends in 2015.
Shiweda said Ndapuka contacted him in June 2016 and asked him to accompany him on a trip to Walvis Bay to fetch building materials that he had left at the town.
Shiweda said he, Ndapuka and also Tashiya and Shekundja drove to Walvis Bay in Ndapuka’s bakkie during the early morning hours of 16 June 2016.
At Walvis Bay, his three travelling companions left him at a shop later that day, he said. The key for Ndapuka’s bakkie was left with him, he added.
He said he was later asked to meet Ndapuka and the rest of their group with the pickup somewhere at Walvis Bay.
Having picked them and also Gotlieb up, they drove back to Windhoek with the bakkie, he said.
Shiweda continued that they stopped at Okahandja, where Gotlieb was dropped off. Before they parted ways, he saw that Gotlieb picked something up from the ground, and noticed it was a black firearm, he said.
Cross-examining Shiweda on Wednesday, Gotlieb’s defence lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji, accused him of being a liar.
“You lie so freely, it’s second nature to you,” Siyomunji charged at one point.
Other defence lawyers in the trial levelled the same accusation at Shiweda when they cross-examined him.
Shiweda stuck to his version, though.
State advocate Basson Lilungwe, who is representing the prosecution, also put it to Shiweda yesterday that his version of events is a half-truth and that he travelled to Walvis Bay to act as the group’s getaway driver.
Shiweda denied this as well.
The trial is due to continue on 4 April with the hearing of closing arguments on the verdict that Usiku will have to deliver afterwards.
All five of the accused are being held in custody.
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