South African rape, murder suspect fires lawyer
WINDHOEK, 17 JUL (NAMPA) - A South African man accused of raping and murdering a 56-year-old woman in Windhoek during June 2014, on Monday fired his State-funded defence lawyer, Hipura Ujaha.
The 37-year-old Wilhelm Wimpie Derick Februarie parted ways with the defence lawyer a few minutes before his alleged rape and murder trial was scheduled to kick-off before High Court Judge Naomi Shivute.
Februarie told the court he decided to terminate the services of his lawyer because he felt Ujaha was no longer fully committed to the defence of his case.
Februarie thus sent a letter to the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid, requesting them to appoint and instruct defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji to take over from Ujaha.
Judge Shivute allowed Ujaha's withdrawal from the trial as requested by the accused.
The trial was put on hold until 31 July 2017, pending the confirmation of Siyomuinji by the Legal Aid Directorate.
The State alleges the South African raped and murdered Windhoek resident, Dinah Diedericks, at her home in Windhoek West on the evening of 21 June 2014.
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) arrested Februarie a day after Diedericks was found dead outside her home.
According to NamPol, Diedericks was killed by way of strangulation and Februarie was the last person seen with her. Mobile phone records indicate that Februarie was in the vicinity of Windhoek West from about 20h00 to 23h00 that evening.
He remains in custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility since his arrest, with no option to post bail until his next court appearance.
State Advocate Salomon Kanyemba appeared for the prosecution.