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Case withdrawn over missing docket

Mon, 6 July 2015 03:45
by Faith Haushona-Kavamba

Magistrate Johannes Shuuveni had to withdraw an assault case after the prosecution revealed that the docket for the matter was not at court, yet again.
36-year-old Eliaser Johannes was accused of assaulting his victim with the intent to do grievous bodily harm on 28 November 2014, and his trial was scheduled to commence on 2 April this year.
However, the trial was postponed to 29 June because of the missing docket, which failed to make an appearance on that day as well.
At the time of his first appearance, the accused pleaded not guilty, and opted to conduct his own defence.
“There is no good reason why the police did not bring the docket to court. As such, there will be no further remand in this case,” Shuuveni said sternly.
State prosecutor Sirka Nangoro explained to the court that she had tried to secure the docket from the police, but to no avail.
She told the court that she had contacted the investigating officer and requested for the docket. However, he said he could not provide it as he was out of office.
She subsequently instructed him to delegate one of his colleagues who were in the office, which he also failed to do.
Nangoro added that she and the Control Prosecutor had written a letter to the police regarding all missing dockets on 25 June, and have scheduled a meeting with the Commanding Officer of the Katutura Police Station to discuss the issue of missing dockets which do not make it to court.
A court case cannot go on without the presence of a docket at court. Johannes was informed by the court that although his case was withdrawn, he has not been acquitted and could be summoned back to court for the same case.
Similarly, brothers Donald and Immanuel Gaoseb were found not guilty by Magistrate Shuuveni due to a lack of evidence.
The duo was arrested on 22 December 2013 in Green Mountain Road in the Goreangab informal settlement, where they allegedly robbed two men.
They allegedly attacked Ndele Tobia Hishidimbwa and took his two wallets, a belt and N$2 750.
On the same day, they went on to assault Joseph Shimwandi, holding him at knife-point and attempting to steal his goods.
However, the court found the two accused not guilty and discharged them in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act of Namibia, Act 25 of 2004.
On 23 April, Magistrate Erik Naikaku, then a prosecutor, requested that the police subpoena witnesses so that the State could proceed with the trial.
However, the police failed to do so, neither did they give any clarity on why that is the case.
Magistrate Shuuveni voiced his displeasure, stating that State stakeholders were not playing their part in ensuring that all the necessary tools for a trial were availed.
He gave an example of when he had to withdraw approximately 11 cases in Gobabis because of that.