The criminal trial of British farmer and businessman Harvey Boulter was again postponed yesterday by Windhoek High Court judge Christie Liebenberg.
The judge granted the postponement to allow the parties to sort out a review application by Boulter on the decision of the prosecutor general to continue prosecuting him over allegations surrounding a shooting incident that resulted in the death of his farm manager in 2021.
Boulter has pleaded not guilty to the charges in the lower court. When his matter was transferred to the High Court, Boulter filed a review application against prosecutor general Martha Imalwa’s decision of last year to arraign and have him stand trial on charges of murder, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, and handling a firearm while under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
The PG is opposing the application.
Boulter is asking High Court Judge Herman Oosthuizen for an order reviewing, correcting and setting aside Imalwa’s decision to prosecute him in the indictment and her continued prosecution after he made representations.
According to him, the prosecution continued to prosecute when the facts at her disposal did not make out a reasonable and probable cause to prosecute.
The decision to prosecute, Boulter claims through his lawyer, Sisa Namandje, instructed by Khadhila Amoomo, was made on the premise that Boulter intentionally discharged a shot that struck his manager in the circumstances where there was no evidence that he was responsible for any intentional act.
He further wants Judge Oosthuizen to find that Imalwa failed to consider material inconsistencies and contradictions by state witnesses and failed to properly apply her mind to the facts before her.
Imalwa argued that Boulter failed to show there exists insufficient facts from which a reasonable person could conclude that he committed the crime and offences charged and on which a reasonable Court acting carefully might convict.
Judge Oosthuizen set 17 January 2024 as the date for the hearing and ordered Boulter to file his heads of argument on or before 23 November and the PG hers on or before 13 December.
Boulter, who is currently out on bail, is alleged to have shot and killed his farm manager Gerhard van Wyk on 27 April 2021.
Van Wyk was shot in the abdomen at Boulter’s sprawling multi-million-dollar property in the Kamanjab area.
He died on his way to hospital. It is alleged that the incident occurred after an altercation during a braai held at the farm.
According to witnesses who testified during the bail hearing, Boulter had been the initial aggressor. The accused allegedly assaulted Van Wyk’s son after he objected to a remark he had made about his wife, and that Van Wyk then came to his son’s assistance.
During the scuffle between Boulter and Van Wyk, a shot reportedly went off.
The bullet that injured Van Wyk also struck Boulter in his left hand.
Boulter has denied guilt, claiming that at the time of the incident, he felt like he was under attack from Van Wyk and his son. He claims the gun went off after Van Wyk grabbed the weapon he was holding against his chest.
Boulter, alongside his company SX Investments One, is also being sued by the late Van Wyk’s widow Alta van Wyk, his son Gerhard van Wyk Jr, daughter Michelle van Wyk, and Van Wyk Jr’s wife Liani van Wyk for allegedly intentionally and negligently causing Van Wyk’s death.
Van Wyk’s family wants N$84.5 million as payment for his death.