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Neuaka submissions to be heard in 2022

2021-12-07  Maria Amakali

Neuaka submissions to be heard in 2022
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Submissions before sentencing in the case of former military paramedic Johannes Neuaka, who was found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, will be heard next year.

High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on Friday ordered Neuaka’s (42) submissions to be made on 25 January 2022. 

Shivute on 25 November convicted Neuaka on a count of murder with direct intent, two counts of attempted murder, and one charge of assault – all charges are read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.

She also found him guilty on the count of discharging a firearm in a public place, negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of an unlicensed pistol and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Neuaka’s conviction emanates from the death of his ex-girlfriend Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann (25 at the time), whom he shot in the head on 21 January 2018. 

They have a six-year-old son together.

In her judgement, Shivute asked why Neuaka, a trained military man, ran away from the scene, shocked by a gunshot. 

She also questioned why he did not assist the wounded Rittmann, since he is a trained paramedic. 

Shivute further said the use of a firearm, which is a lethal weapon; threats Neuaka made towards Rittmann about killing her, and his behaviour after the incident do not paint him as an innocent person. 

The court dismissed Neuaka’s version that Rittmann was accidentally shot when she grabbed the arm with which he was holding the firearm. 

Neuaka testified that on the day in question, he picked up the firearm while he was waiting for a friend to take him to Rittmann’s mother’s residence to drop off his child.

After he dropped off the child, Neuaka said, the victim wanted to see the pistol, and as he lifted it at a 90-degree angle to make it safe, she suddenly pulled his arm down, and a shot went off, striking her in the face.

He further said he did not have the intention to kill the victim, and that he left the scene because he was shocked and confused – and it was only later that he calmed down and decided to hand himself over to the police.

Neuaka said, although their relationship was stormy, he denied ever assaulting or attempting to kill Rittmann. 

In his defence, Rittmann was accidentally shot when he was trying to show her a gun he had picked up in the grass near their yard. 

The court accepted the version of Rittmann’s 15-year-old sister, who is the only eyewitness to the murder. 

She informed the court that she saw Neuaka pull out a gun, point it at the victim’s head, and shot her in her mother’s yard in Michael Angelo street in Damara location, Katutura.

Thereafter, Neuaka allegedly jumped into a car and left. 

Rittmann’s mother Goye Rittmann testified that Neuaka and her daughter had a violent relationship in which Zya complained of being physically abused by Neuaka.

She further testified that on one occasion, Neuaka threatened to kill Zya, put her body in a bag and take her to South Africa.

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2021-12-07  Maria Amakali

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