THE five men accused of killing the 43-year-old Hlaisaneni Zhou, a Zimbabwean street vendor in Otjiwarongo last week Wednesday, have been denied bail when they made a brief appearance at the town’s Magistrate’s Court this morning.
Jonathan Patrick Myburgh, the owner of Grid Hawk Security, Jandre van Jansen Vuuren, who works as a supervisor at the company, two more Grid Hawk Security guards, Kefas Kuutondokwa and Hendrik Simapureni, as well as Roberto Katjinamunene, an employee of the Savemore Etemba Plaza Supermarket, have been charged with murder and appeared before Magistrate Karl Muyeghu.
The suspects are all aged between 22 and 27.
According to the incident report provided by the Namibian Police at the start of the weekend, the victim was severely assaulted by the accused persons after he was found stealing a small bottle of wood glue from the shop by Katjinamunene.
During the court proceedings, the state prosecutor opposed bail.
The fact that the investigation is still in its initial stages, the seriousness of the offence, the high interest of the public in the matter and the proper administration of justice, were held up as grounds on which bail should be denied.
Myburgh and van Vuuren indicated to the Court that they will solicit the services of private lawyers while Kuutondokwa, Simapureni and Katjinamunene informed the Magistrate that they will apply for Legal Aid from the State.
After ascertaining that the accused persons have a full grasp of the extent of the charges they face, their rights with regards to legal representation and the option of formally applying for bail, Magistrate Muyeghu postponed the matter to 17 August this year.