News and Information

Treason trial photos show toll of Caprivi attacks
August 27, 2004


THE first evidence testifying to the violence, death and destruction wreaked by alleged secessionists' surprise attacks at Katima Mulilo on August 2 1999 is now before the High Court at Grootfontein.

Judge Elton Hoff on Wednesday admitted the first photographs claimed to be depicting the aftermath of those attacks as evidence in the trial of the 120 men standing accused before him.

Those photographs, contained in an album now designated as 'Exhibit N' in the high treason trial, show the Katima Mulilo Police Station as it looked on August 2 and 3 1999.

A Namibian Police crime scene investigator, Warrant Office Daniel Mouton, took the Judge through the photographs on Wednesday, as he read into the court record what each is alleged to depict.

He also explained the layout of the Police Station, where Police Constable Japhta Kamati lost his life to an alleged armed separatist's bullets during the attack.

On one of the photos in the album Kamati is shown lying dead - face down, a large blood stain under his upper body, over the right side and arm of his olive-coloured Police jersey and on the ground to the right of him - where he had fallen, allegedly some 17 metres from where he was shot.

He fell to the ground behind the cells at the back of the Police station, shows a map of the station that Mouton had drawn.

The person who shot him had stood some 22 metres from where Kamati was standing outside, at a corner of the cells, when the fatal bullets were fired.

At the scene where the alleged killer had stood the Police later picked up 16 spent R5 rifle cartridge cases, Mouton testified.

A large amount of blood was also spilled inside the Police Station, the photos show.

Two especially depict a blood-smeared floor inside the station's charge office, where two Police officers, Constables Martin Mutaleni and Jost Silume, are alleged to have been wounded in the neck and right arm respectively.

Their shootings form the subject of two of the 240 attempted murder charges faced by the 120.

The place where "rebels" stood when they were shooting at officers in the charge office, was about 7,9 metres away from Mutaleni and Silume, behind the charge office's counter, Mouton told the court.

The "rebels" - as Mouton referred to the attackers - were standing at the entrance door to the charge office while firing at the Police officers inside, according to Mouton's plan of the Police station.

All in all, 97 spent cartridge cases of various calibres of firearms - AK47, R5 and 9 mm - were found in and around the Police Station after the attack, Mouton's evidence indicates.

The court has not yet been told whether all of these - or how many of these - are claimed to have been fired by the people that attacked the Police Station that morning.

Mouton is set to continue with his testimony on September 6.

He has already told the court that he had compiled 16 albums of photographs and maps related to the case.

So far, he has gone through three of these, which have been admitted as evidence.


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