• September 30th, 2020
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Stepdad recounts hearing shot that killed daughter


The stepfather of a woman, who was shot and killed by her boyfriend during 2018, yesterday testified against the accused in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
 Cornelius Johannes took the witness stand in the trial of former Namibian Defence Force paramedic Johannes Neuaka (41) who is accused of fatally shooting 25-year-old Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann in Windhoek on 21 January 2018. 

Neuaka is currently being tried on a charge of murder read with two counts of attempted murder, one count of assault read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, one count of discharging a firearm in a public place, alternatively negligent handling of a firearm and counts of possessing a firearm and ammunition without a licence.
 All charges are in connection to the death of Rittmann who was shot in the head in the yard of her family home in Katutura. Johannes testified that Neuaka who shares a son with Rittmann was an abusive partner.  Rittman would allegedly come back home with marks and bruises on her arms and legs every time she visited Neuaka.

 “When I ask about the marks, she would just brush it off. But she told the mother that she was being abused by the accused (Neuaka) as they were very close,” said Johannes. He further informed the court that the shooting only happened because Neuaka would carry his gun with him all the time when visiting Rittmann.  He recollected that Neuaka once fired two to three shots at their home after Rittmann refused to see him. Johannes informed the court he was the first on the scene when he heard the sound of a gunshot.  Neuaka arrived at their family home with the intent of dropping off their son. He then allegedly requested to speak to Rittmann outside the house. They allegedly moved a few metres away from the house.  However, a few moments later Johannes heard a gunshot.  It was his testimony that his wife requested him to check if it was the kids playing with crackers outside the house. However, when he got into the yard, he found Rittmann lying on the ground. “When I saw my daughter (Rittmann) on the ground, I ran to her and started shaking her. I then started calling her name, but she was not responding. When I realised that she was dead I ran to look for the accused,” said Johannes.  It was his testimony, when he finally got to the gate, he saw Neuaka jump into a car, which immediately drove off. He allegedly shouted to the people in the street to stop the car, but the vehicle did not stop. Johannes is not the only witness to testify against Neuaka.  A 15-year-old-witness testified last month that she saw Neuaka pull out his gun from his waist and shot Rittmann in the face. 

At the start of his trial, Neuaka has denied guilt to all charges. During his failed bail application, Neuaka told the court that the victim was shot accidentally when she grabbed the arm, he was holding the firearm with. The trial is continuing before Judge Naomi Shivute.
Defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji is representing Neuaka while Ethel Ndlovu is prosecuting for the State. 
 – mamakali@nepc.com.na


Maria Amakali
2020-08-12 09:18:15 1 months ago

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