Murder, stock theft accused asks for bail

Stockley Kauejao

A key accused in the repeatedly delayed trial of four men charged in connection with the theft of cattle and killing of a stock-theft investigator in the Omaheke region more than 11 years ago is again applying to be granted bail.

Testifying before acting judge Alfred Siboleka in the Windhoek High Court yesterday, Stockley Kauejao (50) said he is experiencing health problems for which he is not receiving the required diet and medical attention while being held in custody at Windhoek Correctional Facility.

“Life in prison is difficult,” Kauejao remarked, adding that people in prison are thin because of the type of food they are receiving.

This prompted Siboleka to ask: “Do you want the prison facility to create kapundas [pot bellies]?” Kauejao also told the judge that since his bail was cancelled in October 2021, he has not been able to support his children financially, and that this has had an adverse impact on their education.

Kauejao and three co-accused are charged with stealing 15 head of cattle in the Gobabis district during December 2012. Kauejao and two of his co-accused, Matheu Kakururume and Muvare Kaporo, are also facing a count of murder, with the state alleging that they agreed to kill a stock-theft investigator, Wilfred Kazeurua (55), after he had been asked to investigate the theft of the 15 head of cattle.

The state is alleging that Kakururume and Muvare murdered Kazeurua by strangling and suffocating him at the farm Brazil in the Gobabis district on 28 December 2012.

All four of the accused are further charged with defeating or obstructing the course of justice, after they allegedly burned Kazeurua’s motor vehicle, buried his body, hid the stolen cattle and burned the cattle’s ear tags in an attempt to hinder the investigation of the stock theft and the killing of Kazeurua.

The four men’s trial started before Siboleka in September 2015, when all four accused denied guilt on all charges.
Kauejao recounted yesterday that he was arrested in January 2013. He was held in custody from then until he was granted bail in July 2016.

After the state closed its case in the trial in July 2018, further trial proceedings were repeatedly delayed.

By October 2021, after several defence lawyers representing Kauejao had withdrawn, with some of them informing the judge they had not been paid for their services, Siboleka cancelled Kauejao’s bail and ordered that he should be held in custody again.

The judge did that after saying he was convinced that as long as Kauejao remained free on bail, he would try to frustrate the smooth running of the trial.

Kauejao has since then testified in his own defence and concluded his defence case.

In his testimony yesterday he denied that he has employed delaying tactics in his trial.

He also said he was free on bail for three years after the state closed its case in the trial and after the court ruled that there was evidence implicating him in respect of the charges he is facing, and during that time he did not try to flee.

Kauejao denied that he would try to delay the trial if released on bail again.

The trial is scheduled to continue from Monday next week. Kauejao’s bail hearing is due to continue today.

He is being represented by defence lawyer Salomon Kanyemba.

State advocate Hesekiel Iipinge is representing the prosecution.

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