Convicted robber wants to be back in society

 

A man with two convictions of possessing an unlicensed firearm and who was slapped with a jail term for robbery with aggravating circumstances now wants to be set free so he can join society.

 

Cleophas Namene met his fate when he was found guilty of robbing an Otjiwarongo shebeen before stealing a cell phone and thousands of dollars, yet he has this week claimed before a High Court judge that he was wrongly convicted and sentenced.

 

The man who claims that he can’t read shunned to be assisted by a lawyer choosing to represent himself with the assistance of a court interpreter.

 

His case is that during his trial the witness who testified against him did not say that he had indeed seen him on the scene of crime.

“The witness only saw me in handcuffs. They say N$4 000 was taken away but no one said it was me who took it. The truth is that I just came to that place to buy something and I ended up being handcuffed. I want the court to do away with my sentence. I have not done anything for me to be sentenced,” he pleaded before the court.

 

Namene is also claiming that he was a patron at the shebeen, something which state witnesses denied in their claim that he was part of the team that burst in and staged a robbery.

 

He has been convicted twice before for owning an unlicensed firearm and on top of that his application to appeal came late before the judge.

 

According to rules at court, an accused can only file an appeal application within 14 days but his took an entire year.

The state prosecutor wants it to be struck down.

 

Asked what he had to say about this breaking of the law, he replied, “I admit that my appeal is late, and I ask the court to condone my late application.”

 

He says that reasons for his late application are that soon after he got convicted, he suffered an eye infection which got in the way for him to act quick.

 

He also claimed that he had difficulties looking for a literate person who could help him interpret court documents.

It took time for him to be presented with a court record of his trial proceedings, he added. 

The state has bashed his reasons as invalid.

 

“We can’t have late applicants coming to court when they feel like it. The applicant never indicated that he did not know that filing should be done within 14 days,” slammed the prosecutor.

 

The state also said he did not need a year to get a record of proceedings since it was his trial in which he was present.

Namene will in the meantime have to wait until March the 29th 2019 when the Judge will rule whether he qualifies for appeal or not.