WINDHOEK, 26 APR – A former police constable on trial in the Windhoek High Court in connection with the brutal murder of his two sons in April 2014, now wants to be released on bail.
Albertus !Ganeb is on trial in the High Court’s newly refurbished courtroom at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility for allegedly having stabbed his two sons to death in Gobabis.
On 05 April 2018, he gave notice of his intention to bring a formal bail application before court.
He wants to be released on bail to raise the needed funds to acquire legal representation for his appeal case to the Supreme Court against High Court Judge Dinah Usiku’s refusal to recuse herself from presiding over his double murder trial.
!Ganeb returned to the High Court on Thursday, when he told Judge Usiku that he has already forwarded new grounds to the prosecuting authority in respect of his formal bail application.
He said he will also bring three trial-awaiting prisoners who were in police custody together with him at the Hosea Kutako International Airport Police holding cells shortly after arrest in April 2014, to come and tell the court that he harbour no intention to abscond to evade prosecution once released on bail.
Meanwhile, State Advocate Palmer Khumalo said the prosecution will oppose the granting of bail on the grounds that !Ganeb lodged the formal bail application while the trial is almost complete and the probability of him absconding is very high at this stage.
Khumalo said it would also not be in the interest of the administration of justice to release the accused police officer on bail when the State has already closed its case.
The bail application is now set down for a hearing before Judge Usiku on 11 June 2018, as per an agreement reached by the accused and prosecution representative in court Thursday.
He remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, pending the bail hearing.
!Ganeb on 05 April 2018 suffered a heavy blow when his attempt for the immediate removal of Judge Usiku from his trial was dismissed in a ruling handed down by the same judge.
The former police constable felt he did not receive a fair trial with her on the bench.
He claimed the judge was protecting the interests of the prosecution by not allowing his former defence lawyer, Boris Isaacks, to properly cross-examine and re-examine a number of State witnesses.
State Advocate Khumalo argued that there is no basis for !Ganeb to believe his rights to a fair trial were being infringed upon.
He said Usiku disallowing questions posed repeatedly could not be regarded as interference.
Tirtus Romeo Shaun Swartz, 7, and the four-year-old Gregory Swartz were stabbed at the Epako settlement on 25 April 2014.
Tirtus was stabbed four times in the head and once in the neck; while Gregory was stabbed once in the neck, once in the head and once in the back.
The older boy died on the scene while Gregory succumbed to his injuries in the Katutura State Hospital a few days after the incident.
!Ganeb allegedly stabbed his sons in a fit of jealousy after he saw a text message from another man on the mobile phone of the children’s mother, Romily Swartz.
He then allegedly threatened to kill Romily, the two boys and the person who sent the text message.
!Ganeb is now defending himself after firing Africa Jantjies and Isaacks, alleging the lawyers did not represent him honestly and to the best of their ability.