An attempt for bail by one of the accused in the murder of renowned stock theft investigator Wilfred ‘Major’ Kazeurua dismally ended before it could begin after the High Court struck the matter from the roll yesterday.
Before removing the matter from the court’s roll, Judge Dinah Usiku said there are no grounds why Stockley Kauejao launched a bail application.
Usiku said the court is not in a competent position to adjudicate Kauejao’s bail application as no record was filed.
She said the only thing she has in her possession is a notice for yesterday’s court set down.
“I do not know what happened there, since you did not provide the court with previous court proceedings. How will I assess the matter without its background?” Usiku questioned. Usiku’s decision comes after State prosecutor Hesekiel Iipinge questioned why Kauejao’s application was not accompanied by new facts upon which he seeks to be released on bail.
He further said the court has a duty to protect the court’s processes from being abused.
Iipinge in substantiating his argument said Kauejao’s matter was transferred to the High Court in 2014 and he was granted bail with conditions on 15 July 2016. “However, while on bail, the applicant (Kauejao) tried to delay his ongoing trial by seeking numerous postponements for him to apply for the recusal of the trial Judge Alfred Siboleka,” said Iipinge.
According to Iipinge, Kauejao never filed that recusal application. He has also allegedly had four lawyers who withdrew from the case because of unclear instructions.
In October last year, Siboleka cancelled Kauejao’s bail because he felt he was the reason for the various delays the trial has suffered since its start in 2015 due to the several applications, coupled by the hiring and firing of lawyers. The judge used the powers invested in him according to section 68(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 as amended to cancel the bail of Kauejao. The section entails that a presiding officer may, even in the absence of evidence that an accused may abscond, cancel such bail if he feels it is in the interest of the public or the administration of justice.
Lawyer Salomon Kanyemba refuted claims that Kauejao has been the reason behind the delays in the trial. He said there is nothing in the law that prohibits an accused from launching a bail application after their bail had been cancelled.
“There was no bail refusal before the trial judge. So, there is no need to have new facts for the new application. We are applying for bail after it was cancelled,” said Kanyemba.
However, should the court require them to file the new facts, they will be happy to oblige.
Kauejao, alongside Muvare Kaporo and Mathew Kakururume are on trial on charges of murder, stock theft, and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice – charges they have all denied.
The fourth accused, Afas Kamutjemo, is charged only with counts of stock theft and defeating or obstructing the course of justice. The State is alleging the accused conspired to kill Kazeurua to prevent him from tracing cattle they had stolen. The group had allegedly stolen 15 head of cattle from a farm in the Gobabis area earlier in December 2012.
Kaporo and Kakururume allegedly ambushed him and killed him by strangling him and throwing sand in his mouth to prevent him from breathing.
This allegedly happened on 28 December 2012.
Kazeurua’s vehicle was set on fire after he had been killed, and his body was burnt and buried.