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Katima town centre gunman revealed
November 10, 2006
Katima town centre gunman revealed


THE man who is claimed to have played the leading role in the deadliest of the attacks that shook Katima Mulilo on August 2 1999 has been identified in the main Caprivi high treason trial - but he will never face earthly justice for the murders he is alleged to have committed.

Two prosecution witnesses in the main treason trial have told Judge Elton Hoff that Petros Ngoshi led the group of would-be attackers that headed to the Katima Mulilo Town centre in the early morning hours of August 2 1999.

By daybreak that day, four people, including three Namibia Defence Force members, lay dead on the sandy white ground at the scene where Ngoshi's group had allegedly struck.

According to information received by the Namibian Police, Ngoshi has in the meantime died in Botswana, where he is claimed to have fled after the events of August 2 1999, Deputy Commissioner Abraham Maasdorp, who is leading the Police's treason investigation unit, told The Namibian yesterday.

The first witness in the main treason trial to have told Judge Hoff that he was part of the group that was sent to the town centre on the morning of the attack was Bornbright Kufwa, the 64th prosecution witness to testify.

According to Kufwa, the group was led by a man with a limp.

He claimed he did not know the man's name.

While the rest of the group was told to hide themselves, the limping leader was the only one from their ranks who remained in the open at the town centre, "roaming around", before gunfire erupted and Kufwa ran away, Kufwa related.

The prosecution's 68th witness, John Mwabela, further told the court that about eight men were sent to the town centre in the run-up to the attacks, and they were led by Petros Ngoshi.

Ngoshi was the only one in their group who was armed, Mwabela said.

He told the court that Ngoshi told him to hide behind a tree.

Some time later, said Mwabela, he heard the sound of gunfire coming from behind a nearby building.

It seemed like the gunfire came from the direction where Ngoshi was at that time, he added.

A short while later Ngoshi approached him, this time with a firearm "similar to those used by security guards" in his hands, Mwabela said.

Ngoshi handed the gun to him, even though he did not know how to handle a firearm, Mwabela said.

A security guard, Mabuku Jameson Matonga, was one of the people killed by alleged secessionists at the town centre that morning.

A while later, Mwabela continued, he saw a vehicle approach and stop near a spot where Ngoshi was standing next to a letter box.

He said he heard a man's voice asking Ngoshi his name, and heard Ngoshi state his name, before a burst of gunfire rang out from that direction.

When he peeped from behind a tree, he saw Ngoshi standing at the other side of a vehicle, Mwabela said.

The third witness claiming to have been present was Daniel Musheke, the prosecution's 71st witness.

Musheke also claimed to had found himself commandeered at gunpoint from his home a day or two before August 2 1999.

By the early morning hours of August 2, he said, he and a group of about nine people were heading for the Katima Mulilo town centre.

Ngoshi, who walked with a limp, led them, Musheke said.

Musheke told the court he himself did not have a firearm, but that Ngoshi told him "that when we shoot a person then we will get that firearm and then that firearm will be handed to us".

At the town centre Ngoshi told the members of the group who were unarmed to hide themselves, Musheke said.

Around midnight, he claimed, he saw a white car approaching and stopping at the post office.

"Petros Ngoshi started shooting at it," Musheke continued.

Ngoshi was about eight metres away from him, and about four to five metres away from the car, when he shot at it, according to Musheke.

After that, Ngoshi came to him and told him that the unarmed members of the group would have to look after themselves from then on.

Musheke also ran home, he testified.

He realised that people had been killed when he saw Ngoshi firing at the vehicle, he also told the court.

"I realised that two people died," he stated, saying that he saw them lying next to the car.

In actual fact, Judge Hoff has heard so far in the trial, three people were killed at that car.

They were NDF Captain George Mutafela, Warrant Officer Majority Likonga Siloiso, and Lucas Simubali.


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