By: Justicia Shipena
NIMT executive director Ralph Bussel says his former boss informed him that double-murder accused Ernst Lichtenstrasser threatened him.
Bussel was testifying in the murder trial of Lichtenstrasser on Monday in the Windhoek High Court.
Lichtenstrasser is accused of murdering the NIMT directors Eckhart Mueller and Heimo Hellwig at Arandis in 2019.
Bussel said at the murder scene he told an inspector at that time Erastus Iikuyu that the police should think about it.
“Because Eckhart Mueller received threats, saying he should sleep with one eye open when he visited the Tsumeb campus. He visited the campus to have a personal discussion with Lichtenstrasser about the options Lichtenstrasser has to remain part of the institution’s staff,” he testified.
According to him, when Mueller returned from the NIMT campus, Tsumeb he was worried and was not at ease with the threat from Lichtenstrasser.
“This led to change in his behaviour, something that we were not used to, especially about his whereabouts. He will also inform the staff members about his whereabouts and where he will be at a specific time, but since returning, he totally changed and never informed us again,” he explained to the court.
Bussel said there was fear in his behaviour, and it was clear to the staff of NIMT.
“He also mentioned the threat in the board of trustee meeting.”
Bussel was the principal of the engineering trade campus in Arandis after taking the executive director position in June 2020.
When he arrived at the scene in front of the head office building, he said the two directors were covered in white linen.
“I asked the police officers if it is possible for me to see what happened to them because at that stage, I did not know whether they were alive or not.”
Bussel told the court that he then opened up the white linen and found the two directors lying hopelessly in a pool of blood with shots in different places of their bodies.
Lichtenstrasser, who was arrested at Karibib on the evening of 16 April 2019, was denied bail last month for the third time.
The State alleges that Lichtenstrasser shot the two directors with an unlicensed 9mm pistol after being in dispute with them about a decision to transfer him from the NIMT campus at Tsumeb, where he had been stationed, to Keetmanshoop.
The State also alleges that Lichtenstrasser fled from the murder scene after the deadly shooting and drove into the desert near Arandis. He then allegedly took apart the murder weapon and buried it.