GOBABIS: One of the accused in the robbery and kidnapping incident at Otjinene’s Standard Bank branch will have to wait until 27 September this year to hear the outcome of his bail application.
Petrus Tulinge Dumeni, who had launched a formal bail application on Tuesday, had his application postponed after a lengthy hearing in the Gobabis Magistrate’s Court.
The 29-year-old Dumeni, alongside Tuvii Hendwa, 34, and the 33-year-old Thomas Elias, were rounded up by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) after an armed robbery on 03 July 2012 in which they allegedly kidnapped and beat up bank and security staff at the bank and made off with a large sum of money.
The alleged robbers, however, reportedly lost all the stolen money sometime later when they crashed their vehicle into a tree as they tried to make their escape to Gobabis in the Omaheke Region.
Dumeni based his grounds for application for bail on health reasons, noting that he needed to undergo an urgent operation on his testicles in less than a month. He said he started experiencing severe pain in his lower abdomen after allegedly being assaulted by the arresting police officer.
He however told the court that he did not press any charges against the officer, despite him now needing medical attention.
Dumeni also claimed that he was the sole breadwinner for his family, a girlfriend and four children, whom he said have since been forced to drop out of school as there was no money for transport to school.
The prosecution was however not satisfied with his explanations, noting that they do not warrant granting of bail.
It was also noted that since Dumeni was by his own admission a self-employed business man who would travel to Botswana and South Africa to buy cars and resell them in Namibia, he is a flight risk and could abscond the country if granted bail.
It was also found that the accused has given contradicting accounts of events on what exactly transpired on the day of the alleged robbery.
Dumeni and his two accused, both of whom had not applied for bail, were remanded in custody and no bail amount was set.
Gobabis Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi presided over the bail hearing.
The suspects, who were arrested by the NamPol’s Serious Crime Investigations Unit, are reportedly well-known Windhoek-based criminals who are all residents of the Havana informal settlement in Katutura.