News and Information

Government details charges against 12 Caprivi suspects
July 19, 2004

CLAIMS that the separatist Caprivi liberation army maintained a secret, armed presence in parts of the region for years after August 2 1999's failed secessionist attacks at Katima Mulilo appear set to be aired during the trial of a second group of high treason suspects in the High Court in Windhoek.

This is indicated in the indictment to be faced by the 12 men charged in what will become a second trial over an alleged plot to overthrow the Government in the Caprivi Region and establish a separate state in the region.

The 12 made a third pre-trial appearance in the High Court in Windhoek on Friday, to receive the indictment setting out the charges that they are to face at their trial.

The starting date still has to be set.

The 12 accused are now scheduled to make a further pre-trial appearance in the same court on September 21.

In the intervening two months, defence counsel from the Directorate of Legal Aid, which has to appoint defence lawyers for the 12, are set to study the evidence that Deputy Prosecutor General Danie Small disclosed to them on Friday.

That is in order to decide whether potential conflicts of interest among the 12 would necessitate the appointment of separate defence counsel for some, or even all, of them.

The indictment that was handed to the group indicates that the Prosecutor General has opted to pursue a leaner, more limited prosecution against them than faced by the 107 other high treason suspects still awaiting the proper start of their trial in the High Court at Grootfontein.

Whereas the Grootfontein suspects will face a mammoth case on 278 charges at their trial, the 12 will face only six counts.

Those are nevertheless extremely serious charges:counts of high treason, sedition, public violence, illegal importation, supply or possession of firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, and illegal importation, supply or possession of projectiles or rockets to be discharged from a cannon, recoilless gun, mortar, rocket launcher, or machine gun.

All of the charges set out alleged crimes that are claimed to have been committed between September 1998 and December 12 2003 - with the latter date having been the date when the last of the 12 were formally arrested in Namibia, after the Botswana authorities had handed them over to their Namibian counterparts.

The charge sheet handed over on Friday for the first time sets out in detail the case that the State claims to have against the 12 - being Progress Kenyoka Munuma (40), Shine Samulandela Samulandela (36), Manepelo Manual Makendano (52), Vincent ("Smallboy") Liswaniso Siliye (36), Vincent Khasu Sinasi (44), Alex Sinjabata Mushakwa (42), Diamond Samuzula Salufu (53), Frederick Isaka Ntambilwa (45), Hoster Simasiku Ntombo (41), Boster Mubuyaeta Samuele (38), John Mazila Tembwe (39), Alex Mafwila Liswani (46).

It sets out a case that starts during 1998, when former DTA President - and also a former Vice President of Swapo - Mishake Muyongo is alleged to have embarked on a quest to raise an armed secessionist force, the Caprivi Liberation Army, with the aim of launching attacks in and taking over the government in the Caprivi Region.

The August 2 1999 attacks, which were followed by an intense security crackdown in the region, were only the first open manifestation of the CLA's presence and aims, the indictment further indicates, by relating that thereafter several of the attackers crossed into Botswana to regroup at the Dukwe refugee camp

Source: The Namibian News Paper

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