4 NEWS Monday, March 26 2018 | NEW ERA Mother to stand trial for son’s death Maria Amakali Windhoek The Prosecutor General has decided to prosecute a mother, who stands accused of strangling her one-month-old baby in 2016. Liina Lineekela Shaambeni was informed that the Prosecutor General has pronounced herself in her case and has decided that she should stand trial and answer to the events that led to the death of her one-month-old baby. According to the Prosecutor General’s decision, Shaambeni will take the stand in Windhoek’s Regional Court on April 13 on a charge of murder read with the provisions of Domestic Violence Act for her baby’s death. Shaambeni appeared before Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni last week from custody after she was denied bail last year. The prosecution is charging that on October 17, 2016, behind the nurses’ homes at Katutura Intermediate Hospital in the District of Windhoek, Shaambeni unlawfully and intentionally killed a one-month-old baby by strangling him with a rope. During her failed bail application hearing, Detective Sergeant Jefta Shikehama, investigating officer dealing with the case, took the stand and testified that Shaambeni had confessed to the gruesome murder of her a baby boy. During his testimony, Shikehama informed the court that Shaambeni gave birth to a premature baby and travelled from Lüderitz to Windhoek with the patient’s bus to the Katutura Intermediate Hospital. In Windhoek, Shaambeni’s baby boy allegedly disappeared, which led the hospital staff to alert the police. According to Shikehama, after interrogating Shaambeni on the whereabouts of the baby, she finally confessed. Shikehama further noted that they found the lifeless body of the one-month-old baby with a rope around his neck behind the nurses’ home at the said hospital. The officer stated that the string used as a murder weapon came from the baby’s T-shirt. During her preliminary plea, Shaambeni denied guilt by taking a not-guilty plea. Magistrate Shuuveni postponed the matter to April 13 for the transfer of the case to the Regional Court. Defense attorney Johan van Vuuren represented Shaambeni while Victoria Thompson prosecuted. Guard admits stealing half a million dollars Suspected thief Jonas Simon Mbangu Maria Amakali Windhoek Jonas Simon Mbangu, a security guard who ran off with half a million dollars last year, has admitted guilt. Mbangu, 41, said he stole so that he could provide shelter for his children. Making his preliminary plea before Magistrate Vanessa Stanley last week, Mbangu took a guilty plea to the charge of theft. “I took the money because someone had called telling me that they were selling a house. So, I took the money so [that] I can buy a house for my children,” said Mbangu during his plea explanation. The prosecution is charging Mbangu with theft for allegedly intentionally stealing N6,134 on August 14, 2017. Mbangu informed the court that he only realised later that what he had done was wrong. “I did not think about it at the time. I did not think it would be a problem,” explained Mbangu. He was arrested after his employer grew suspicious of his disappearance. At the time of his arrest, Mbangu was employed at a local security firm as a security officer. Part of his duties was to collect money from various business outlets for banking purposes within the vicinity of Otjiwarongo. According to police reports at the time, Mbangu failed to return to work after his routine pick up. He allegedly failed to deliver the money and instead opted to flee with the cash. The police found the company car abandoned in the northern part of Windhoek with Mbangu nowhere in sight. Upon his arrest, the police found Mbangu in possession of the money sealed in three plastic bags. It is alleged that he had only used N0 of the money that he attempted to steal. It is suspected that he was headed to the northern parts of the country. Having taken his preliminary plea, Mbangu was informed that the state would summarise his docket for it to be forwarded to the Prosecutor General for decision.
Monday, March 26 2018 | NEW ERA NEWS 5 Roland Routh Windhoek Oshakati High Court Judge Maphios Cheda delivered a telling judgment in a case where a property developer had to approach the High Court to stop people from disturbing its construction activities. Stantoll Properties obtained a plot of land from the Ongwediva Town Council and started to construct a mall on the property and in anticipation of completing the said mall it entered into lease agreements with prospective businesses. However, the previous owner of the land in question, Lukas Johannes did not take kindly to the development, as he claimed that he was not compensated for the land appropriated by the government in favour of the Ongwediva Town Council and apparently organised the community to block the construction. People stood in front Ongwediva mall gets go-ahead of the construction machinery and equipment and went to the extent of beating up the developer’s employees, which forced the developer to abandon the construction activities resulting in financial prejudice to the developer. This led the developer to institute court proceedings against Johannes claiming that his actions would cause irreparable harm and asking Johannes to be interdicted from carrying on with his unlawful activities. According to court documents, the land in dispute used to be communal land under the traditional authority. However, the government of Namibia has since expropriated it from the traditional authority and bestowed it to the council. Johannes did not welcome this claiming it was unlawful, as he was uprooted from the land of his forefathers without compensation. Judge Cheda said what was to be decided is to whom the land belongs. The developer bought the land from the council, who received it from the government who took it from Johannes in terms of a parliamentary act. According to the judge, the developer has a title deed to the land, which makes it the lawful owner. The judge further said while he was perusing the documents, he came across allegations of violence and threats of violence against the developer’s employees on site. “Namibia is a peaceful and democratic country, while its constitution permits demonstrations as a way of protest, such protests have to be conducted within the confines of the law. Violence or threats thereof should not and cannot be tolerated in this country,” Judge Cheda stressed. He went on to say that the violence perpetrated on innocent employees was, from the court’s point of view, deplorable and should not be allowed to rear its head. He issued an interim for Johannes to show cause on April 10 why an order restricting Johannes and his followers from interfering or obstructing the construction activities on Erf 6315, Extension 13, Main Road, Ongwediva should not be made final. He further ordered that Johannes and/or his family members and animals be evicted from the premises and that officers stationed at the Ongwediva Police Station be authorised to arrest Johannes or any of his followers that interfere in the construction activities. He also awarded costs of the suit to the developer. Following this judgment, a huge outcry erupted on social media attacking the judge, which prompted the Namibian Lawyers Association (NLA) to jump to the defense of the judge and judges in general. According to a press release issued by NLA “various statements made on social media, following what appear unfavourable judgments, have raised questions about the role of our courts in dispensing justice as it concerns the ordinary Namibian”. They further said that the NLA notes, with grave concern and regret, that these statements contain criticism of individual judges amounting to undue interference with judicial independence. “The independence of the judiciary, in a constitutional democracy like ours, is sacrosanct and must be protected to ensure that judges remain fearless, impartial and act without prejudice” the NLA stated. PDM says suggestions of its councillors are ignored Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop Popular Democratic Movement local authority councillors. Popular Democratic Movement Secretary General, Manual Ngaringombe, says the lack of service delivery at most local authorities is because councils are dominated by Swapo, which disregard the ideas suggested by councillors of opposition parties. Speaking at a capacity-building workshop for the party’s local authority councillors at Keetmanshoop on Friday, Ngaringombe said the ruling Swapo Party dominated many local authorities, as a result, views of councillors from other parties are not considered all the time due to their political affiliation. He, therefore, urged councillors from opposition parties to perform exceptionally well if they are to make meaningful contributions and leave a mark. He said Swapo domination in councils has brought about a situation where service delivery at many local authorities is very poor, as bright ideas from non-Swapo councillors are shelved and this, he said, has compromised development in the country. “Most of you live in Swapodominated councils, where the sense of making contributions are viewed and linked to your political homes, this has been the main reason why service delivery at our respective local authorities has been slow and thus depriving many residents of basic services, and this has compromised development in our country,” he said. He called on the councillors present to redouble their efforts, saying with an understanding that decision making in local authorities depends heavily on the majority rule, the only chance of making meaningful inputs is if they worked extra hard, and show what they are capable of. “I urge you all to go an extra mile and outperform the majority domination to prove that we can deliver better when we have a full mandate,” he said. He further called on local authority councillors irrespective of their party affiliation to serve all people that put them in their offices and leave politics out of service delivery, saying they should divorce politics within their offices. He also encouraged the councillors to always put the interests of the people first, before their own, noting that the inhabitants are crying for basic and affordable services such as housing, sanitation and infrastructural development, and thus all local authorities should put service delivery, especially housing as their Photo: Matheus Hamutenya first priority. He also reminded councillors that their term in office is not permanent and thus should work hard during their tenure and leave a good legacy once they are gone. The workshop saw PDM local authority councillors from Khomas, Hardap, //Kharas and Omaheke regions gather at Keetmanshoop for the capacity-building workshop aimed at understanding the roles and duties of the councillors and other important issues of governance. New fire station, strategic plan set Oshikuku on expansion course Helvy Shaanika Oshikuku Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, officially inaugurated two major projects and a strategic plan for Oshikuku Town Council last week. During an event that was held at Oshikuku, Mushelenga officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new township in Oshikuku, launched a 2018-2022 Strategic Plan and officially opened the Oshikuku Fire and Rescue Station. Mushelenga said the Swapo Party had made promises to the electorate during various elections, and thus, the three projects demonstrate the party’s commitment to keeping such promises. He said the government, through its various arms, delivers its services to people as guided by the constitution, the laws of the country and the Harambee Prosperity Plan. “These are the promises that we made during the election campaign and today’s ceremony demonstrates that we have kept our promises,” he said. Furthermore, Mushelenga said the government has noted with a concern, the prevalence of fire incidences in and around towns nationwide. This has resulted in the loss of lives and the extensive destruction to property. It is for that reason that a Cabinet decision was made to equip every local authority with a functional fire and rescue station. Oshikuku has now joined other towns such as Ongwediva, Okahao, Lüderitz, Windhoek, Outapi, Oshakati and many others who have benefited from this initiative. “As the implementing agency of the aforesaid decision, the ministry has engaged the relevant developmental partners to implement the required infrastructure and provide technical support. The ministry availed N million for the construction of this fire station,” said Mushelenga. While launching the strategic plan, Mushelenga urged the councillors to read and fully understand the document, question, and work together with the administrator to ensure that what is in the guiding document is fully implemented. “The Oshikuku Town Council cannot afford to operate and use public funds without having a guiding tool against which it will be judged. Therefore, through this document, we will be able to drive council to excellence. This document is, therefore, your guiding tool and it is your responsibility as local elected leaders to ensure that its content is implemented fully in the next five years in line with government and party policies and legislation. “It does not help to craft good ideas and leave them to collect dust on shelves,” Mushelenga said. The town also witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony for the establishment of Extension 7 where 260 houses will be constructed. Apart from houses, a shopping mall – with banking facilities – will also be constructed. Extension 7 will be developed in a joint venture between Oshikuku Town Council and two local developers, Council and Easy United JV Paralo Investment as part of the private-public partnership. The Mayor of the Town, Mockoma Mungandjera, said the new developments in his town are an indication that Oshikuku Town Council is hard at work bringing much-needed services to its residents. “I would like to urge you all, as our development partners and stakeholders, especially those of you who we have twinning agreements with, not to tire to assist us when we come knocking at your doors,” said Mungandjera.