Man in City Centre shooting incident not fit to stand trial

Man in City Centre shooting incident not fit to stand trial
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Simataa Simasiku, a former Global Fund employee who allegedly shot dead a former colleague and wounded another in 2019, is not fit to stand trial.
The findings of the two psychiatric reports compiled by a psychiatrist employed in the private sector and another one employed in the public health sector show that Simasiku is not fit to stand or understand the proceedings of a trial because he is suffering from a mental illness.
The findings of the two reports by Dr Reinhardt Sieberhagen and Dr Lahja Hamunjela were made known in the High Court when accused Simasiku made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a pre-trial conference of case management review here Monday morning.
According to Dr Sieberhagen, Simasiku is suffering from a severe form of psychotic mental illness and he is in urgent need of treatment to help cure the illness.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef presented the findings by the two medical practitioners in court this morning.
Although Simasiku was again on Monday remanded in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility’s trial-awaiting section, arrangements are now being made with the prison authorities to place him in a psychiatric health care centre.
Simasiku, on 28 January 2019, allegedly walked into the City Centre office building and shot two victims employed by the Global Fund management unit within the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Sarah Mwilima, a director of the unit, died on the scene, while the other victim, Ester Nepolo, was wounded.
Simasiku was observed by the two psychiatrists to determine the state of his mental health fitness prior to, during and after the shooting.
He was mentally observed in terms of the provisions of Sections 77, 78 and 79 of the Criminal Procedures Act of 1977, which deals with the courts’ referrals of accused persons for psychiatric observation.
On 18 June 2020, State-funded defence lawyer Vernon Lutibezi brought an urgent application before the court requesting Judge Liebenberg to refer his client for mental observation following a number of consultations between the two men.
In the application, Lutibezi said the accused needs to undergo mental observation because he “appeared to be disoriented and out of touch” shortly after the shooting incident.
The 34-year-old Simasiku has been in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility, with no option to post bail since the arrest.