abattoirs; murder; farmer; poacher; land

Namibian farm murder suspects denied bail

A Namibian court has denied bail to 3 suspects who were arrested for the weekend robbery and murder of an elderly farmer and his wife in the Karas region.

The deceased couple, identified as Giel Botma (79) and his wife Sarie (80) were murdered at the farm in the Lindeshof area.

Giel was shot through the head using a shotgun while his wife was strangled to death by the killers who stole the couple’s farm bakkie. The car was recovered a day after the attack.

The suspects, who appeared at the Keetmanshoop Magistrates Court, were identified as Julius Frederick Arndt, Andries Afrikaner and Johannes Christiaan.

They all face charges of murder, housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm without a licence and illegal possession of ammunition.

They were not asked to plead, although 2 of them have already confessed to breaking into and stealing from the Botma farmhouse. However, they have denied any knowledge of the murder.

Prosecutor Marlon Adams opposed bail, arguing that all accused persons had been convicted of similar offences in the past and could interfere with investigations if released.

Further, he said given the public outcry that followed the farm murders, it would not be in the interests of justice to grant any bail. The trial is scheduled to continue on 23 April.

The murder has galvanised Namibians across racial lines with farmers and citizens picketing the Keetmanshoop Magistrates Court to demand swift delivery of justice.

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