A former military paramedic, who is currently serving 35 years imprisonment for murdering his ex-girlfriend four years ago, has turned to the Supreme Court after his application for leave to appeal was dismissed by the High Court.
Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on Friday refused to grant him leave to appeal his conviction in the Supreme Court.
The 44-year-old Johannes Neuaka, through his lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji, lodged the application in May this year, after he was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment in February.
Judge Shivute convicted him of having killed his former girlfriend and mother to his son Shané Rittmann (25) in Windhoek on 21 January 2018.
Shivute also convicted Neuaka on two counts of attempted murder, a charge of assault, counts of discharging a firearm and pointing of a firearm, and charges of possessing a firearm and ammunition without a licence as well.
The judge convicted Neuaka in November 2021 after she dismissed his version of events. She noted that Neuaka, a trained paramedic opted to run away after he shot Rittmann in the head, instead of rendering assistance.
The court accepted the version of Rittmann’s 15-year-old sister who is the only eyewitness to the murder.
Siyomunji argued that testimonies and statements by State witnesses had contradictions and inconsistencies.
However, prosecutor Ethel Ndlovu said the court was right in convicting Neuaka on all the charges he was facing.
She requested the court to dismiss the application as she does not believe that Neuaka has any prospect of winning in the Supreme Court.
The judge, however, said that in her judgement, she dealt comprehensively with statements made to the police. “I pointed out that such statements are intended to obtain details of the alleged offence for purposes of possible prosecution and not to anticipate the witness’ evidence in court,” the judge said.
“This court has also dealt with evidence regarding single witnesses and circumstantial evidence and after a careful consideration of the evidence, this court made credible findings thereto.”
She further said that she considered the record of proceedings as well as the judgement and the arguments advanced by both the defence and the State and is not persuaded that another court will come to a different conclusion regarding the applicant’s guilt.
In his defence, Neuaka testified Rittmann was accidentally shot when she grabbed the arm, he was holding the firearm with.